Just over a year into her tenure as FTC chief, Ramirez has given the agency a renewed focus on consumer-privacy protection. She led the FTC as it took action against Amazon and Snapchat—and she could have another major company to deal with in the near future, as some lawmakers are calling on the commission to target Facebook for manipulating its users' news feeds.
Eshoo, who represents parts of Silicon Valley, is the House Democrats' leader on many technology issues. As the ranking member on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, she successfully fought to ensure that valuable wireless frequencies would be set aside to boost Wi-Fi networks. She is also a champion of net neutrality. An ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Eshoo could become even more influential if she defeats Rep. Frank Pallone in the race for the top Democratic spot on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Rosenworcel, a Democrat, has indicated a willingness to challenge her own party, and is therefore emerging as a crucial vote at the FCC as the agency heads into one of the busiest years in its history. She was appointed to the commission in 2012 and was approved unanimously by the Senate after spending many years on Capitol Hill. Before entering public service, she practiced communications law in New York.
During the six months that Clyburn, a Democrat, served as interim chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, she got a lot done. She opened up new airwaves to auction off to wireless companies, lowered the price of prison inmates' phone calls, and saw through a big merger. Before joining the FCC in 2009, Clyburn served on the South Carolina Public Service Commission for 11 years. She is the daughter of Democratic Rep. James Clyburn.
A Republican former member of Congress, Molinari is helping Google buck its image as a company aligned only with Democrats. Since taking over as the Web giant's top Washington lobbyist in 2012, she has helped to fend off an antitrust investigation and is often at the center of debates over online privacy. The company recently moved its D.C. operation to a lavish new office near Capitol Hill, complete with several dining areas and a video-game room.
This article appears in the July 26, 2014 edition of National Journal Magazine as 25 Women Who Shape National Policy.