Ms. Josephine Arnold serves as the Chief Counsel for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) within the United States Department of Commerce. The Chief Counsel for the MBDA provides legal and policy advice to the MBDA National Director, and to the Agency’s headquarters and five regional offices, covering all aspects of MBDA's operations and programs. MBDA functions as a primary operating bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is authorized by Executive Order 11625. MBDA’s mission is to foster the establishment, growth and global competitiveness of the nation’s minority business enterprises (MBEs).
Prior to joining the MBDA as Chief Counsel, Ms. Arnold served as a Senior Attorney with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) located in the U.S. Department of Commerce for 11 years. At NTIA, she was the lead attorney on the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and State Broadband Data Development grant programs established under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009; she provided advice and counsel, prepared documents, and reviewed awards, and assisted with aspects of administering the programs. As counsel for the BTOP grants, she assisted NTIA’s Minority Telecommunications Development Program in obtaining revised Small Business Administration size standards for minority applicants.
Ms. Arnold was also the lead attorney for three reports to Congress on the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN). The ESIGN Act established the legality of electronic signatures and documents in commercial transactions. Ms. Arnold represented the United States Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program and the United States Agency for International Development in Egypt and Morocco where she participated in seminars on the establishment of electronic signatures law for regulators, attorneys, judges, and technical professionals in those countries. She assisted in the production of reports on broadband usage, spectrum management, and the Digital Television Transition Coupon program.
Ms. Arnold began her federal service in 1997 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While working as an Attorney-Advisor for the FCC, she participated in proceedings related to competitive pricing for wireline telecommunications carriers. Ms. Arnold served as an attorney-advisor for the District of Columbia Public Service Commission where she participated in all aspects of regulating and setting rates for Verizon (then Bell Atlantic Telephone Company). She also worked as an Associate in the telecommunications practice group of the Washington, D.C. office of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay.
A native of Durham, North Carolina, Ms. Arnold returned to the state briefly to serve as a judicial clerk for the North Carolina Supreme Court. Ms. Arnold is an honor graduate of Howard University and Howard School of Law.