Diane Cornell has been selected to receive the FCBA’s 10th annual award for outstanding government service, which will be presented at the FCBA’s Spring Reception on June 29. The award was first given in 2008 to recognize individuals with long-term careers in federal government in the communications field who are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in public service.
Two of the nominating members of the FCBA, Jennifer Warren and Bryan Tramont, said “Diane has been an extraordinary public servant in every sense of the word — as a policy leader in IB, WTB and the Chairman’s Office, in the private sector at CTIA and Inmarsat, and in the Bar as an FCBA President and chair of virtually everything. In each role, she has made remarkable contributions as a creative problem solver and been a generous and thoughtful mentor. Her commitment to creating sound public policy and a positive workplace, coupled with her can-do spirit, integrity, humor, ready smile and loyal friendship make her an ideal recipient of this year’s Excellence in Government Service Award.”
Diane served two tours at the FCC over a range of positions, both in bureaus and on the 8th floor. She served four – yes four – different Commissioners, including most recently as Special Counsel to Chairman Tom Wheeler, where she headed the Process Reform initiative, and handled satellite, international and consumer protection matters for the Chairman’s office. Earlier in her career, Diane was Acting Senior Legal Advisor to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, and telecommunications legal advisor to Commissioners Sherrie Marshall and Patricia Diaz Dennis.
Diane’s Bureau roles included Chief of Staff/Associate Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, where she was involved in a wide range of wireless communications issues, including various spectrum-related rulemakings and issues involving 3G mobile systems. In the 1990s, she served as Chief of the Telecommunications Division of the International Bureau and as Chief of the International Policy Division of the Common Carrier Bureau; in these roles she was responsible for international policy rulemakings, authorizations, and international conferences, and played a significant role in the 1997 WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement and the related rulemakings. Her FCC career started in the Policy and Program Planning Division of the FCC’s Common Carrier Bureau in 1987. Her awards at the FCC included the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service and the FCC Chairman’s Outstanding Service Award & Special Achievement Award.
Before and between her FCC stints, Diane held several private sector positions. She started her law career as an associate at Squire Sanders & Dempsey, and after her first FCC tour she served as Vice President, Regulatory Policy at the CTIA – The Wireless Association, where she worked on a wide variety of regulatory issues affecting wireless carriers and manufacturers. Immediately before returning to the FCC, Diane was Vice President, Government Affairs at Inmarsat, a mobile satellite communications provider, where she was responsible for overseeing regulatory matters worldwide.
Diane has been active in the FCBA throughout her career; she served as President in 2007-2008, held several other FCBA offices, and chaired many committees. Diane is also a former President of USA Badminton, and continues to participate in her lifelong sports passion. She received her B.A from Wesleyan University and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.