Congratulations to Richard E. Wiley, who will receive the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Honorary Alumni Award on Friday, October 23, 2020. The virtual ceremony will start at 6 PM and will be streamed on Facebook Live.
In 1983, Richard E. Wiley co-founded Wiley Rein, L.L.P., a Washington, D.C. law firm with the largest communications practice in the United States. He served as Chairman, Commissioner and General Counsel for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 1970-1977. Between 1987 and 1995, he chaired the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, which was instrumental in the transition to digital television in the United States. In addition, he served as President, Federal Bar Association (1976-1977) and Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) (1986-1987).
“Dick” Wiley already had served on the FCC for several years when James H. (“Jim”) Quello joined the Commission in 1974. Their terms overlapped for several years, before Dick moved on. When Jim Quello retired, Dick was instrumental in helping to establish the James H. and Mary B. Quello Center at Michigan State University in 1998. He has served as a member of its Advisory Board since its establishment, including for several years as the Chair. During these years, he tirelessly supported the research and outreach mission of the Center. His deep knowledge of the communications industries, communications law, and the intricacies of communications policymaking have been an invaluable asset to the Center.
Dick has been profiled in The New York Times as “Telecommunications’ Ubiquitous Man of Influence”, the Los Angeles Times as the “The Sixth Commissioner”, The International Herald Tribune as the “Most Influential Media Lawyer in U.S.”, Toronto’s Globe and Mail as the “Father of HDTV”, and The American Lawyer for the “Brand Name of Communications Law.” He was awarded an Emmy for leading the development of digital television.
His multitude of industry recognitions include the National Association of Broadcaster’s Distinguished Service Award, the North American Broadcasters Association’s International Achievement Award, the Library of American Broadcasting’s “Giants in Broadcasting,” the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s Excellence in Broadcasting Award, the Consumer Electronics Association’s Gold Medal and Hall of Fame, and Broadcasting & Cable Magazine’s “100 Men of the Century.”
Wiley graduated with distinction from Northwestern University with B.S. and J.D. degrees. He holds a Master of Law (LL.M.) from Georgetown University.