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J. H. Snider is the president of iSolon.org and a 2011-2012 Network Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He has written extensively about both the politics and public policy of the TV broadcast band. During Spring Semester 2008, he was a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. From 2007-2011, he was an affiliated researcher at Columbia University’s Center for Tele-Information. From 2001-2007, he was a Markle fellow, senior research fellow, and research director at the New America Foundation, where in 2002 he co-founded its Wireless Future Program. From 1999-2000, he worked in the U.S. Senate as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in Communications and Public Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in American Government from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, and an A.B. from Harvard College.
Snider first wrote about the gross misuse of the TV broadcast bands in Future Shop (St. Martin’s, 1992) and came to DC in late 1992, shortly after the Clinton Administration was elected, to push for more efficient use of those bands (see Star Tribune article, January 24, 1993). During the late 1990s, while researching his Ph.D. dissertation and later book, Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick: How Local TV Broadcasters Exert Political Power (iUniverse, 2005), Snider interviewed more than a hundred Hill staffers and lobbyists. In the early 2000s, his desire to see the broadcast band used more efficiently led him to propose that the unused white spaces from TV channels 2-51 be reallocated for unlicensed use and that a converter box subsidy be used to free up the spectrum from TV channels 52-69. Both proposals were subsequently adopted by Congress. In 2005, he proposed creating an inventory of federal spectrum, a proposal that Congress also subsequently adopted. In 2007, he founded iSolon.org, a policy institute devoted to tackling some long-term and difficult information policy issues.