The Free State Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan think tank. Its purpose is to promote, through research and educational activities, understanding of free market, limited government, and rule of law principles at the federal level and in Maryland.
FSF focuses on eliminating unnecessary and counterproductive regulatory mandates, especially those applicable to the communications and other high-tech industries, and on reducing overly burdensome taxes, protecting individual and economic liberty, including property rights, and making government more effective, efficient, and accountable.
Who We Are
Led by Randolph J. May, FSF's President, the scholars of The Free State Foundation have decades of experience in the public policy arena and academic settings promoting free markets, secure property rights, and individual liberty. Mr. May is a nationally known legal and policy expert in the field of regulation, as well as a widely recognized expert in communications, administrative, and constitutional law. FSF's scholars combine solid academic expertise with professional and practical experience in a way that makes their research especially impactful in influencing both federal and state public policy.
New at FSF
The Free State Foundation is pleased to announce the release of the agenda for its Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference, Thursday, March 18, 2014, at the National Press Club. The Opening Keynote Address will be delivered by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, and FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly will participate in the lunchtime "Conversation" with FSF President Randolph May. FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen will provide the Closing Keynote Address. For details on the expert panelists, please see the agenda. Registration for the conference is complimentary, but you must register to attend. To register, please click here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph J. May discusses the consequences of the D.C. Circuit Court's Net Neutrality decision. You can access the video on FSF's YouTube channel here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph J. May and distinquished members of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors submitted a Response today to Questions in the First White Paper, "Modernizing the Communications Act," before the Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to Mr. May, the members of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors submitting this Response are Richard A. Epstein, Justin (Gus) Hurwitz, Daniel Lyons, James B. Speta, and Christopher S. Yoo.
The Free State Foundation will hold its Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Keynoters at the policy conference, themed "A New FCC and a New Communications Act: Aligning Communications Policy with Marketplace Realities," include FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who will participate in a lunchtime “Conversation” with FSF President Randolph May, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, and FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen. As in the past, an outstanding line-up of leading experts from government, industry, and academia will discuss and debate the most important communications policy issues of the day. To register, click here. For additional information, click here.
Randolph May, President of the Free State Foundation and a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), is participating in the ACUS 59th Plenary Session on December 5-6, 2013, in Washington, DC. ACUS is an independent federal agency. Its mission is to promote improvements in the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of the procedures by which federal agencies conduct regulatory programs, administer grants and benefits, and perform related governmental functions. The ACUS membership is composed of federal officials and experts with diverse views and backgrounds from both the private sector and academia.
Randolph May, President of the Free State Foundation, will participate in a webinar on November 19 hosted by the Digital Policy Institute (DPI), an interdisciplinary research think tank based at Ball State University. Other panelists joining Mr. May for this webinar, “Spectrum Auctions and Band Plans: Maximizing Auction Revenues and Minimizing Post-Auction Problems,” are Preston Padden, Executive Director of the Broadcaster’s Coalition, and Rick Kaplan, Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning at the National Association of Broadcasters. Among the many key legal and policy issues the panel will address are: the FCC’s proposed system for broadcasters choosing to relinquish spectrum; whether eligibility restrictions on wireless carriers wanting to bid would reduce the overall auction revenues and, correspondingly, broadcasters’ incentives to cede spectrum; the methods whereby broadcasters not choosing to give up spectrum but are relocated in repacked spectrum will be reimbursed for their costs; and the continued availability of broadcastservice for TV viewers. The webinar, Tuesday, November 19, 2 p.m., EST, will go live here just prior to start time.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May will participate on a panel at the University of Nebraska Law School’s 6th Annual Space and Cyber Law Washington, DC, Conference at the Willard Hotel, November 5, 2013. The panel, titled "Regulation v. Market Based Mechanisms for The Internet’s Future," discussion is structured around the 100 year anniversary of the Kingsbury Commitment, the first antitrust consent decree relating to the U.S. telecommunications system and arguably the beginning of modern regulation of this system.
Two YouTube videos are available of the Free State Foundation’s "A New FCC or the Same Old, Same Old?" lunch seminar at the National Press Club, October 24, 2013. Congressman Bob Latta, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, delivered keynote remarks offering his ideas for reforming communications policy in a less regulatory direction and for reorienting the FCC's mission. A panel of senior industry officials and leading academics followed the Congressman, discussing, with the arrival of a new FCC Chairman and Commissioner expected shortly, whether the FCC should reorient its mission and its way of doing business. How? Can it accomplish such changes itself or does Congress need to act?
FSF just announced Congressman Bob Latta will deliver the opening remarks at the October 24, 2013, lunch seminar titled, "A New FCC or the Same Old, Same Old?" Rep. Latta is the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Register now for the FSF lunch seminar at the National Press Club.
Register now for the Free State Foundation’s lunch seminar titled, "A New FCC or the Same Old, Same Old?" on Thursday, October 24, 2013, at the National Press Club, from 12-2:15 p.m. With Tom Wheeler and Michael O'Rielly likely to arrive shortly as the new FCC Chairman and Commissioner, the FCC will be back to its full five-member complement. With ongoing dramatic changes in the communications and Internet marketplace occurring almost daily, a panel of industry and academic experts will explore important questions. Speakers include: James Assey, Executive Vice President, National Cable & Telecommunications Association; William Kovacic, former Chairman, Federal Trade Commission and Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School; Jim Speta, Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law; Robert Quinn, Senior Vice President - Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T Services; and moderator Randolph May, FSF President. Additional information is here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May participated in this week's edition of C-SPAN's The Communicators program to discuss the September 9 oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Verizon v. FCC case challenging the FCC's net neutrality regulations. Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, appeared on the program with Mr. May, and former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who voted against the net neutrality regulations, gave brief introductory remarks via telephone. The Communicators airs on C-SPAN on Saturday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m., and on C-SPAN 2 on Monday, September 16, at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. You may access the entire program on C-SPAN's website here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May today announced three changes in FSF staff and affiliations. Sarah Leggin has joined the Free State Foundation as a Legal Fellow. Seth Cooper, FSF Research Fellow, has relocated to Washington State. Effective September 1, Mr. Cooper's status changed to Adjunct Senior Fellow. Gregory Vogt has become affiliated with FSF as a Visiting Fellow. For the full press release announcing these changes, click here.
Randolph J. May, President of the Free State Foundation, testified at a hearing on “Improving FCC Process” before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Committee on Energy and Commerce, on July 11, 2013. He commended the Committee for undertaking the effort to reform the FCC's processes and its decision-making approaches. Mr. May supported the proposed reforms in the Discussion Drafts that, along with his additional proposals, would make the FCC less likely to default so often to regulatory measures, even absent clear and convincing evidence of market failure or consumer harm. Mr. May's complete testimony is here. A link to the video is here.
Randolph J. May, President of the Free State Foundation, was interviewed by Media Freedom on June 26, 2013, about how he thinks the DC Circuit court might approach Verizon’s appeal of the FCC’s Net Neutrality regulations after the Supreme Court's recent City of Arlington ruling. As Mr. May notes in this video, though City of Arlington may not be entirely helpful to Verizon, it does not automatically end the dispute. In his view, other of the company’s arguments – such as those dealing with the reasonableness of the rules, and its First Amendment claims – remain potent avenues of challenge to the agency’s controversial Open Internet regulations. Oral arguments for the appeal are scheduled for September 9, 2013.
A YouTube video is available of the Free State Foundation's "If I Were the FCC Chairman" lunch seminar at the National Press Club, June 4, 2013.The speakers, who discussed what they would do if they were the new FCC Chairman, were Gail MacKinnon, Executive Vice President and Chief Government Relations Officer, Time Warner Cable; Craig Silliman, Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Government Affairs, Verizon Communications; and Gigi B. Sohn, President & CEO, Public Knowledge; and moderator Randolph J. May, President of The Free State Foundation.
The speakers have been announced for the Free State Foundation's "If I Were the FCC Chairman..." lunch seminar at the National Press Club, June 4, 2013. The seminar will feature nationally-recognized senior leaders in the communications policy field who will discuss what they would do if they were the new FCC Chairman. Register now!
Free State Foundation Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow and former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate participated at the May 13-17 World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2013. The World Summit represents the largest annual gathering of the “ICT for development community” in Geneva, Switzerland at the ITU headquarters. Ms. Tate serves as the ITU's Special Envoy for Child Online Protection. She participated in numerous forums and events and was the moderator of a High Level Dialogue: Women's Empowerment in the Information Society: Systemic, Scalable Strategies. Ms. Tate will also participate in World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) on May 17 as a former official Laureate for 2009. In addition, Ms. Tate will be part of the official delegation to the Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica in September 2013 hosted by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is celebrating women’s history month with outstanding FCC women leaders, April 10, 2013, in the National Council of Negro Women Building, Washington, DC. Former Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, a Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow at The Free State Foundation, is the lead opening speaker and will introduce FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as the opening “storyteller.” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will provide the closing remarks. In the history of the FCC, 15 women have been appointed FCC commissioners. Many of these talented women, along with others who have held important positions at the Commission, will be in attendance. In addition to an extensive list of FCC women leaders, Commissioner Robert McDowell will also join the celebration, sharing his stories of the remarkable women he has worked with over his years at the FCC, including his all-woman staff.
The March 21, 2013, Free State Foundation Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference opened with FSF President Randolph May's conversation with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. During the conversation, Commissioner Pai discussed his regulatory philosophy, reforming FCC processes, the FCC's IP Transition proceeding, broadband policy, net neutrality mandates, spectrum auctions, video regulation, and much more. You can view a video of their conversation here.
We were very pleased that Senator Marco Rubio delivered his first major address on communications policies and telecom priorities at the Free State Foundation's Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference. Sen. Rubio is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and its Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. Here is a link to the written copy of Sen. Rubio’s speech, and you can view a video of his presentation here.
A revised agenda for the Free State Foundation's Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference, “Completing the Transition to a Digital World: How to Finish the Job and Why It Matters,” has been released. Please note that due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict, Senator Marco Rubio will deliver his keynote address at 1:00 p.m. during lunch. The conference will open with FSF President Randolph May's conversation with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. There will be three panels featuring an outstanding line-up of leading experts from government, industry, and academia discussing the most important communications policy issues of the day. Register now for the March 21, 2013, conference.
Register now for the Free State Foundation's Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference, “Completing the Transition to a Digital World: How to Finish the Job and Why It Matters,” at the National Association of Home Builders on Thursday, March 21, 2013, 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Keynoters are Senator Marco Rubio, Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. As in the past, an outstanding line-up of leading experts from government, industry, and academia will discuss and debate the most important communications policy issues of the day.
View the video of the Free State Foundation's January 23, 2013, luncheon to celebrate FSF’s new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years," at the National Press Club. Several of the book's contributing authors, all prominent scholars and experts in the field of communications policy, discussed their chapters and led a lively, interactive exchange concerning today's hottest-topic issues. Speakers included: Christopher Yoo, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Internet Policy Going Forward: Does One Size Still Fit All?"; Daniel Lyons, Professor, Boston College Law School, and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Reforming the Universal Service Fund for the Digital Age"; Ellen Goodman, Professor, Rutgers School of Law – Camden, and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Public Media Policy Reform and Digital Age Realities"; and Seth Cooper, FSF Research Fellow - "Restoring a Minimal Regulatory Environment for a Healthy Wireless Future."
To view photos of the Free State Foundation’s October 18, 2012, "Ideas for Communications Law and Policy Reform in 2013" seminar at the National Press Club, go to the Events page. The program opened with a conversation concerning FCC reform between FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell and FSF President Randolph May. This was followed by a panel discussion by some of the nation's leading communications law and policy experts: Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; James Gattuso, Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy, The Heritage Foundation; David Honig, President, Minority Media & Telecommunications Council; and Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center.
Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Free State Foundation and former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, International Telecommunications Union Special Envoy and Laureate for Child Online Protection, and Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the Co-Chairs of The Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, announced the release of a report offering a variety of recommendations and best practices to encourage more healthy and realistic portrayals of women and girls across all media. The Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, consisting of more than 50 leaders from the media industry, creative community, academia, and youth-serving nonprofits, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, completed more than a year of deliberations with the release of this report on November 13, 2012.
Free State Foundation President Randolph J. May will speak on "The Federalist Papers and Administrative Law" on September 27, 2012, at the Federalist Society’s Vermont Student Chapter. The program is entitled "The Administrative State." Mr. May will focus on Federalist Papers 47 and 51.
Congratulations this week to Free State Foundation’s Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow and former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, co-chair of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, which is receiving the Diversity Advocate Award at the 29th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner on September 12, 2012, at the Hilton New York in New York City. This award is presented annually to an individual or organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated a commitment to diversity. Ms. Tate co-chairs The Healthy MEdia Commission along with Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis.
Job Openings for Policy Analysts: The Free State Foundation has positions open for senior and junior policy analysts with experience regarding regulated industries. Some expertise and prior experience regarding communications and Internet policy is a definite plus, and the ability to analyze market structure and competition in dynamic markets characterized by rapid technological advances is a definite plus as well. Excellent writing skills an absolute prerequisite. Click here to view a full job description.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May will participate as a panelist, Thursday, June 28, 2012, at the Federal Communications Bar Association’s program, “The 2012 WCIT: Crafting International Telecommunication Regulations for the Twenty-First Century.” The program focuses on the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), at which Internet governance issues will be addressed.
View a slideshow of the Free State Foundation’s seminar, "The Multi-Stakeholder Private Internet Governance Model: Can It Survive Threats From The UN?" held at the National Press Club on May 30, 2012.
View C-SPAN’s video of the Free State Foundation’s seminar, "The Multi-Stakeholder Private Internet Governance Model: Can It Survive Threats From The UN?" The event was held May 30, 2012, at the National Press Club.
The Free State Foundation's Senior Fellows and Staff are acknowledged experts in their academic and professional fields, and their accomplishments have been widely recognized. They have held senior positions in academia, government, and business. Their expertise and experience on state and federal policy matters spans the disciplines of law, economics, business strategy, and organizational management.
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View the YouTube videos of FSF's "A New FCC or the Same Old, Same Old?" lunch seminar at the National Press Club on October 24, 2013.
View the YouTube video of FSF’s "If I Were the FCC Chairman" lunch seminar held at the National Press Club on June 4, 2013.
View a slideshow here of the Free State Foundation’s Fifth Annual Telecom Policy Conference, "Completing The Transition to a Digital World: How to Finish the Job and Why It Matters," held at the National Association of Home Builders on March 21, 2013.
Order FSF's new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years," here!
View the YouTube video of FSF's January 23, 2013, event celebrating FSF’s new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years," at the National Press Club.
View YouTube videos of FSF's October 18, 2012, "Ideas for Communications Law and Policy Reform for 2013" Seminar at the National Press Club.
For more information, contact: email@example.com Mailing Address: The Free State Foundation, P. O. Box 60680, Potomac, MD 20859 Office Location: 6259 Executive Blvd., Rockville, MD 20852 Phone: 301-984-8253