Cheryl Parrino, the first and only CEO of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), will resign her position on January 31, 2004, to pursue a career in consulting. USAC, which announced the pending resignation on November 3, oversees the four universal support mechanisms – including the Schools and libraries Division entities of the E-rate program. During her tenure, the funding administered by these various support mechanisms has grown to more than $6.5 billion annually.
USAC Board Chairman Frank Gumper said in a written statement that Parrino "has been the driving force behind the success of USAC…I have accepted her resignation only reluctantly, and she will be sorely missed." FCC Chairman Michael Powell also said Parrino will be missed, and noted her "cool-headed approach" while leading USAC during "a critical time for our universal service program." During her years at USAC's helm, she was instrumental in carrying out several new policy initiatives ordered by the FCC, as well as initiating an audit and oversight program to help maintain program funding integrity.
Prior to joining USAC, Parrino chaired Wisconsin's Public Service Commission. USAC has retained a recruiting firm to search for a replacement, which Gumber said he expects to name prior to Parrino's late-January departure.