Kathleen Quinn Abernathy (Keynote)
Keynote Topic: The Broadband Revolution and Having It All (Just not at the Same Time).
Kathleen Quinn Abernathy is Executive Vice President, External Affairs of Frontier Communications, responsible for the company’s governmental and regulatory affairs. From March 2010 to June 2012, she was Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President, Regulatory and Governmental Affairs. Prior to joining Frontier, she was a Partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, advising clients on a wide range of legal, policy and regulatory issues related to telecommunications and the media. Before this, she was a Partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP.
Ms. Abernathy served as a Commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2001-2005. While a Commissioner, she chaired the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and participated as a U.S. representative in numerous international bilateral and multilateral negotiations, including the 2002 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference and the 2003 ITU World Radiocommunications Conference. She was appointed by the ITU to chair the 2004 ITU Global Symposium for Regulators.
Prior to joining the FCC, Ms. Abernathy was Vice President for Public Policy at BroadBand Office Communications; Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at US West; and Vice President for Federal Regulatory Affairs at AirTouch Communications. Earlier in her career, she was Legal Advisor to two FCC commissioners and a Special Assistant to the agency’s General Counsel.
Ms. Abernathy has received numerous honors and awards in recognition of her contributions to the profession. In 2011 she was named one of the “Top Ten Women in Telecom” by Fierce Telecom and honored by Legal Momentum with an “Aiming High Award.” She was featured in Chambers USA’s “Leaders in their Field” in the Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite: Regulatory category (2009); included in the Washington, DC edition of Super Lawyers (2009, 2010); and named one of Washington’s Top Lawyers by Washingtonian magazine (2007, 2009).
Ms. Abernathy served on Frontier Communications’ board of directors from April 2006 through February 2010. She is currently on the boards of the John Gardner Fellowship Association, which is affiliated with U.C. Berkley, and Stanford University and Children Now. She also serves on the board of ISO New England Inc., the operator of New England’s bulk power and wholesale electricity markets.
Ms. Abernathy received her B.A. magna cum laude from Marquette University and her J.D. from Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, where she was a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Federal Communications Bar Association, of which she is a Past-President, and has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and The Columbus School of Law.