Powell has intimate knowledge of federal communications issues, having been chairman of the FCC from 2001 through 2005. He is the son of Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
After leaving the FCC, the younger Powell has co-chaired Broadband for America, which works to increase broadband Internet access.
He is a senior adviser to Providence Equity Partners and sits on the boards of AOL Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.