FCC chair Ajit Pai has named Babette Boliek the agency's chief economist.
Boliek, a law professor and the associate dean of faculty research at Pepperdine University School of Law, succeeds Jerry Ellig, who is heading back to academia.
Her writings include several law journal articles challenging the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order, which the Pai FCC has rolled back using some similar arguments.
The chief economist is the FCC chair's principal economic adviser and is usually detailed from a college or university.
Pai has been pushing for more economic cost-benefit analysis of regulation.
"Adding an extraordinarily talented, well-respected expert like Dr. Boliek to our team will help us continue to make well-informed decisions that reflect basic principles of economics as well as the rule of law," said Pai of the new appointment.
Boliek's academic research subjects have included internet regulation, competition, antitrust, privacy and mobile telecom, while she has taught antitrust and communications law as well as corporate and contract law.
Pai said Boliek's combination of law and economics experience will be an asset as the FCC looks "to better integrate economic analysis factors into many aspects of the agency’s work, from closing the digital divide to merger review."