Gary Epstein was Chair of the FCC Incentive Auction Task Force from April 2012 until April 2017. The auction successfully concluded on April 13, 2017. He led the Task Force and the Commission's implementation of the world's first ever broadcast incentive spectrum auction under the Spectrum Act passed by Congress in February of 2012. The auction repurposed 84 MHz of UHF spectrum and raised almost $20 billion dollars.
Epstein was the founder and Global Chair of the Communications Practice Group of Latham & Watkins, a national and international law firm. For 25 years he was Chair of the Practice Group and led the firm's Telecommunications Law Practice. His practice focused primarily on advising companies on United States regulations of telecommunications, satellite and broadcast providers. He also advised non-US governments and investors on privatizations and restructurings of telecom sectors and advised companies on such policies as US ownership restrictions and authorizations for international services.
In previous roles at the FCC, he served as the Digital Television Coordinator during the digital television transition and as Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau when the Bureau had jurisdiction over telecommunications, commercial wireless, satellite and international communications matters.
Directly before rejoining the FCC in 2012, Epstein was the Managing Director and General Counsel of the Aspen Institute International Digital Economy Accords (IDEA) Project, a year-long project designed to identify ways to promote innovation, market access opportunities and promote the free flow of communications across borders on an open Internet. Epstein also was Executive Vice President Law and Regulation of an advanced satellite company developing an integrated satellite-terrestrial communications network.
Epstein graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, with highest honors. He graduated from Harvard Law School with a JD, with honors.