On Oct. 29, Joel Kaufman, 53, died at his home in Kensington due to an aggressive form of brain cancer, which he battled valiantly for more than 10 months. Joel was born on Nov. 2, 1960, in Providence, R.I., to Eli and Bernice Kaufman. Valedictorian of his high school class, Joel obtained his B.A. in political science from Providence College in 1982, again with highest honors. He then received his J.D. from Duke University Law School in 1985, and was a member of its honor society.
After law school, Joel joined the Washington, D.C. office of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and later joined the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1993, where he worked for the remainder of his career. Most recently, Joel served as associate general counsel and chief of the Administrative Law Division of the Office of General Counsel of the FCC.
He will be remembered fondly for his incisive analytic mind, extraordinary organizational skills, gentle humor, strong sense of ethics, kindness and exceptional devotion to his family and community. He is survived by his devoted wife of 16 years, Debra Tropp of Kensington; his mother Bernice Kaufman, of Chevy Chase, (formerly of Warwick, R.I.); and numerous extended family members.