• Rachelle Chong

    Law Offices and Strategic Consulting of Rachelle Chong

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    Leading Government/Regulatory Affairs Expert and Advocate in California

    Fields of Expertise: Sharing Economy, Transportation Network Company (Lyft, Uber) regulation, Telecommunications, Broadband, Telehealth, Wireless Communications, Public Safety Communications, Cable, Digital Literacy, Transportation, Smart Grid, Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicle and Autonomous Vehicle Policy, and Public Utilities law.

    I have forged deep ties throughout my legislative and regulatory career, and have developed an expansive local, state, and Federal government and regulatory agency network. This extensive network offers me the unique ability to assist companies in understanding governmental processes, reduce red tape, advocate innovative policies in California and in Washington, D.C., and expedite projects.

    CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

    As interim General Counsel of Sidecar and CPUC regulatory consultant to Lyft, I have forged new regulations and laws for ride sharing. As Comcast’s VP Government Affairs, I worked with broad coalitions that achieved legislative success in minimizing regulation of IP-enabled services and maintaining a cable industry tax exemption resulting in $15M in negative taxes. I led the company's California community investment program. As General Counsel and VP Gov't Affairs of Broadband Office, I managed a Kleiner Perkins start up in the IP enabled broadband space.

    As a Governor Schwarzenegger appointee to the California’s Public Utilities Commission, I become the agency’s point person for telecom, broadband, digital literacy, and Internet policies involving work with the Federal Communications Commission, Dept. of Commerce's NTIA, Department of Energy, and Dept. of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service. I initiated a multi million CA Advanced Services Fund to deliver broadband infrastructure to areas without broadband or dial up Internet service. Also I helped lead efforts to form the CA Telehealth Network with an FCC grant. I led successful efforts to update the state’s telecommunications regulatory framework, reduce consumer complaint backlogs, and bring modern telephone devices to the deaf and disabled community. I led nation-leading energy dockets on Smart Grid, Electric Vehicles, Dynamic Pricing and Demand Response.

     

  • EXPERIENCE

     

    Sidecar Technologies

    Senior Regulatory Counsel 

    Feb 2015 – December 2015

     

     

    Responsible for regulatory relations with state agencies, local agencies and airports.

    Law Offices of Rachelle Chong

    Principal 

    Jul 2013 – Present

     

     

    Registered lobbyist for California PUC. Career regulatory lawyer before California Public Utilities Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

    California Asian Chamber of Commerce

    Board Member 

    May 2011 – Present

     

    Board member for California Asian Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Sacramento, California. The CalAsian chamber represents 400,000 small businesses owned by Asian Americans in California.
    http://www.calasiancc.org/

    Federal Communications Bar Association, Northern California Chapter

    Co-Chair 

    Jan 2010 – Dec 2015

     

     

    Planned quarterly programs with two co-chairs in the telecommunications, broadcast, broadband, wireless policy areas.

    California Emerging Technology Fund

    Outside Regulatory Counsel, former Chair, Board of Experts

    2006 – present

     

     

    Chair of Board of Experts (2006-2013) for non profit organization formed by California Public Utilities Commission. Outside Regulatory Counsel from 2014-2017. A non profit organization established by the CPUC, CETF is dedicated to bringing broadband access and adoption to all of California.

    Sidecar Technologies

    Interim General Counsel 

    Jun 2014 – Jan 2015

     

    Represented Transportation Network Company and oversaw all legal, regulatory, policy, insurance, and strategy as Interim General Counsel during time when TNCs as legal entities under CA , Seattle, D.C. and Chicago regulatory law were established.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area

    Board Member 

    Jun 2012 – Jul 2014

     

     

    Board member to San Francisco non profit organization that provides mentoring from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to at risk youth, ages 6-16. We inspire our children to stay in school and have positive social relationships. On the board, I served on the 2013 Gala Committee, helping deliver our most successful Gala to date in terms of fund raising. I also serve on the Development Committee.

    Techwire.net

    Columnist 

    Jan 2013 – Jun 2014

     

     

    Columnist at Techwire.net covering federal policy relating to broadband, telecommunications and the Internet. Also covers the start up tech scene in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, with emphasis on the Internet, communications, and energy.

    Comcast

    Vice President, Government Affairs, California Region 

    May 2011 – Jan 2013

     

     

    Led California Government Affairs team of twelve for California Region for Comcast. Responsibilities include representing Comcast at the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, California State Legislature, and local franchise authorities, plus all Comcast community development investment.

    Bay Area Council

    Board member 

    May 2011 – Dec 2012

     

     

    Board member to Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored public policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. 275 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council.

    California Technology Agency

    Special Counsel, Advanced Information & Communications Technologies 

    Dec 2009 – Apr 2011

     

     

    I led work on issues relating to broadband, telehealth, Next Generation 9-1-1, public safety communications, digital literacy, smart grid, health information exchange, and electronic medical records.

    California Telehealth Network

    Secretary, Member of the Board 

    2007 – Apr 2011

     

    Assisted in writing FCC application for grant that formed largest telehealth network in the nation for a state. Served as Secretary and Member of the Board representing CPUC in 2007-2009. In 2015-2016, represented CTN as outside Regulatory Counsel.

     

    California Public Utilities Commission

    Commissioner 

    Jan 2006 – Dec 2009

     

     

    The CPUC regulates privately owned telecommunications, electric, natural gas, water, railroad, passenger transportation companies, including authorizing statewide video franchises. The five commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Led most of the telecommunications and broadband work, and energy dockets for smart grid, electric vehicles, and demand response.

    NARUC

    Telecommunications Committee 

    Jan 2006 – Dec 2009

     

    Leading member of National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Telecommunications. The Telecommunications Committee provides a critical venue for State utility commissioners to analyze trends and share best practices. The Committee works closely with the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and the FBI.

    California Broadband Task Force

    Member 

    2006 – Jan 2008

     

     

    The California Broadband Task Force was formed by Governor Schwarzenegger to study barriers to deployment of broadband in California in late 2006. The 16 member blue ribbon task force was appointed by the Governor. The Task Force issued a report in January 2008 with recommendations to the Governor. As a CPUC Commissioner, I put into action many of the recommendations by the Task Force.

    Authorize.net formerly Lightbridge, Inc.

    Director 

    2000 – 2007

     

     

    Independent Director for Lightbridge, Inc., which became Authorize.net. Served on audit committee and chaired compensation committee.

    Association of Public Television Stations

    Trustee 

    2001 – 2006

     

     

    Served as trustee for Association of Public Television Stations (APTS). The APTS is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. My role was to assist in regulatory strategies before the FCC and the US Congress to ensure sustainability of the members in the face of great change in broadcasting regulation and technology.

    Broadband Office, Inc.

    General Counsel and VP Government Affairs 

    Jan 2000 – May 2001

     

     

    Led all legal and regulatory efforts of this start-up carrier of IP-enabled voice and Internet services to large commercial buildings, funded by Kleiner Perkins and large REITS. Supervised team of 14 lawyers and all outside counsel to handle all regulatory, real estate, HR and labor matters in 15 states.

    Corsair Communications

    Director 

    1998 – 2000

     

     

    Independent Board Member for start up company developing back office systems for wireless phone companies. Served on Audit Committee, and actively led CEO salary negotiations..

    Coudert Brothers

    Partner 

    Jan 1998 – Dec 1999

     

     

    Regulatory practice before California Public Utilities Commission and Federal Communications Commission. Represented telecommunications and Internet companies, with particular emphasis on international clients.

    Federal Communications Commission

    Commissioner 

    May 1994 – Nov 1997

     

     

    Appointed by President Clinton to the 5-member FCC in May 1994. This seat is confirmed by the US Senate. Served from1994-1997. Major decisions before the FCC during this era included the first wireless auctions, launch of several wireless services, finalization of digital TV transition rules, implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and children's television rules.

    Graham & James

    Partner 

    Sep 1987 – Apr 1994

     

     

    Regulatory law practice before the California Public Utilities Commission and Federal Communications Commission representing primarily telecommunications clients, including four major wireless carriers and paging companies.

    Kadison Pfaelzer Woodard Quinn & Rossi

    Associate 

    Sep 1984 – Aug 1987

     

     

    Represented primarily broadcaster and telecommunications clients at Washington, D.C. based law firm. Also worked in energy area before the FERC.

  • MANTRA

    Never give up.

  • SKILLS

     

    Telecommunications Policy

    Public Policy

    Government Relations

    Transportation Law and Policy

    Sharing Economy

    Internet Regulation and Policy

    Energy Policy

    Climate Change and GHG Emissions

    Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure Policy

     

    Smart Grid Policy

    Autonomous Vehicle Policy

  • EDUCATION

     

    UC Hastings College of the Law

    JD Law 1981 - 1984

     

     

    Vice President, Associated Students of Hastings
    Editor-in-Chief, Comm/Ent Law Journal

    Activities: Editor in Chief, Comm/Ent Law Journal; Vice President, Associated Students of Hastings.

    University of California, Berkeley

    BA Political Science and Journalism 1977 - 1981

     

     

    Activities: Phi Beta Kappa.

  • REFERENCES

     

  • CONTACT ME! 

    Contact me for strategic consulting and legal services.

    345 West Portal Avenue, Suite 110, San Francisco, CA 94127
  • LET'S CHAT

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    San Francisco Bay Area