WASHINGTON-Former Rep. Mike Synar (D-Okla.), who had been named to head the U.S. delegation to the International Telecommunications Union’s World Radiocommunications Conference ’95 meeting on mobile satellite communications, died from brain cancer Jan. 9 at his home in Muskogee, Okla. He was 45.
Synar had been diagnosed with the disease in July, but he continued to work on WRC ’95 issues until his condition forced him to relinquish his position as ambassador-designate. He was replaced by Brian Fontes, vice president of regulatory affairs for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and a former top staffer to Federal Communications Commissioner James Quello. Although the two never met, Fontes told RCR, “Mike’s role in the delegation was phenomenal. I basically didn’t change his structure at all. We owe him a lot.” A memorial service is being planned.