Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Thursday that he will appoint the agency’s chief counsel, Zachary Katz, as chief of staff, effective at the end of the month.

Katz, who has been in his current position for a little over six months, was previously an agency legal adviser. He replaces Eddie Lazarus, who submitted his resignation in mid-December.

In a release, Genachowski said that Katz has “exceptionally good judgment, tremendous aptitude and the strong leadership qualities” necessary for the position.

Katz is credited with leading the creation of the Connect America Fund, an FCC fund that is aimed at providing all Americans with access to broadband Internet. He is an expert in intellectual property, technology and media law and has also worked in the White House Counsel’s Office.

The FCC also announced that senior counsel and legal adviser Sherrese Smith will take over for Katz as chief counsel and senior legal adviser. Smith was once the vice president and general counsel of Washington Post Digital.

Genachowski made two other changes to his senior staff. Amy Levine will become senior counsel and legal adviser but will keep some of the wireless telecommunications, safety and technology responsibilities from her current position as a legal adviser. Senior counselor Josh Gottheimer will also be gaining additional responsibilities and will direct a new team focused on public-private partnerships at the FCC.

Michael Steffen, currently a special counsel in the general counsel’s office, will join Genachowski’s office as a legal adviser specializing in wireline, international and Internet issues.