FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said at the agency's public hearing Tuesday (April 17) that she is exiting the FCC.
Clyburn said the public meeting would be her last at the agency. She said she had done her best, met incredible people, and had had a chance to make a difference for people who did not know the government was there to serve them.
Clyburn served as interim chair of the FCC, becoming the first woman to chair the agency.
Fellow Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel called Clyburn a partner in the public interest, and promised to carry on her fights.
FCC chair Ajit Pai said Clyburn had "chaired with distinction and served with honor."
Clyburn said she did not have her future path "laid out."
According to sources on the Hill and off it, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has proposed FCC Enforcement Bureau official Geoffrey Starks to succeed Clyburn as Democratic FCC Commissioner.
Republicans are also trying to get a second, full-five-year term for Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr, who was only confirmed to fill the unexpired term of former FCC chair Tom Wheeler, and they will need to pair Carr up with a Democrat if past is prologue.
Clyburn could have served until the end of the next Congress after her term ended--which it did last June--or until a successor was seated.
The exits of chief of staff David Grossman and wireline legal advisor Claude Aiken had signaled to many that Clyburn's tenure was drawing to a close.
Pai said that while they had not always agreed--something of an understatement of late--Clyburn had always been willing to come to the table, put her cards on it, and try to find common ground.
He pointed out that, appropriately, at her last meeting there were unanimous votes on six of the seven items.
Clyburn joined the commission in 2009 and was renominated and confirmed for a second term in 2013. She served briefly as chairman after the exit of Julius Genachowski and before Tom Wheeler could be confirmed.
Before joining the FCC, Clyburn was a member of the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) and, before that, published her familyh-founded newspaper, Charleston's Coastal Times.