Before being appointed to head NTIA in 2009, Strickling worked on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign as a policy coordinator. Between 1998 and 2000, he served as chief of the Common Carrier Bureau in the Federal Communications Commission. But Strickling has also spent years in the private sector, including holding senior positions at Allegiance Telecom, CoreExpress, and Ameritech, and working as a litigation partner in a Chicago law firm. His mix of private- and public-sector experience is useful at NTIA, which works with private partners such as ICANN, the group that assigns Internet names. At NTIA, Strickling has overseen the development of a $4 billion stimulus-grant program that expands broadband infrastructure and access. He is also the administration's advocate on global Internet freedom issues. On his watch, NTIA has launched the country's first public and searchable map of broadband Internet availability and is now working on a 10-year plan to nearly double the amount of commercial spectrum for broadband service. Strickling, 61, is originally from Maryland but lived in Chicago for more than three decades. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Harvard University.