Following graduation from Pomona College with a BA, Carl Hilliard was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy and spent his 3-year enlistment serving as the electronic countermeasures officer for Commander Naval Forces in Japan with a tour as aide to Admiral F.S. Withington. After leaving the Navy, he enrolled in the University of Southern California School of Law and graduated with a JD. He specialized in telecommunications law and represented clients in court and before State and Federal regulatory commissions. During this period of time the industry underwent consolidation and Carl’s practice shifted to negotiation of mergers and acquisitions.
Carl left the practice of law to form Via/Net Companies with his wife Sharon. Via/Net Companies grew to over 165 employees and held interests in television and other communications facilities across the nation. Carl was disabled after breaking his neck and back. After a yearlong recovery, he joined the full time faculty at California Western School of Law as an associate professor of law. He was also a visiting associate professor at UCSD and George Mason School of Law. Further surgery put Carl on the disabled list again.
One of several published articles written by Carl in academia attracted the attention of the Kingdom of Tonga, which was then enmeshed in a dispute with the U.S., France, U.K. and Russia over satellite positions in the geostationary orbit serving Asia. Carl spent the next few years in Geneva helping Tonga secure seven satellite positions. Then he was sent by Tonga to Russia to help negotiate the purchase of communications satellites and arrange their launch into space. Finally, Carl went to Asia to help negotiate the satellite operations agreements with the governments of Thailand, China, Japan and Indonesia.
Carl is currently the President of Wireless Consumers Alliance, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing consumer interests. See: http://www.wirelessconsumers.org. Wireless Consumers Alliance is responsible for the rules requiring cellular companies to provide 9-1-1 service for free to all callers and the seminal case, Inre Wireless Consumers Alliance, preserved state consumer protection jurisdiction over wireless disputes.
Carl and his wife Sharon have lived in Del Mar since 1976. Both were born and raised in Southern California and Sharon is a San Diego native. Carl’s grandparents, John and Elizabeth Benson, purchased a home at the Southwest corner of Stratford and 13th and moved to Del Mar in 1929. They paid $2,500 for the house and had buyer’s remorse because they felt that they had overpaid. John Benson owned and operated the horse-riding academy in Del Mar. Both Carl and Sharon spent many summers as children in Del Mar. The house was sold following John Benson’s death however; Sharon and Carl managed to buy it back about 12 years ago. They have also continued the family tradition of involvement with horses by breeding and racing Thoroughbred racehorses under the stable name of Mooncoin, LLC.
Carl Hilliard’s City Council assignments include:
North County Transit District
SANDAG Alternate and Representative to the Transportation Committee and Regional Planning Committee
San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)
Fairgrounds Master Plan/EIR Advisory Committee
Parks and Recreation Committee
- Traffic Parking Advisory Committee
- Communications Technical Advisory Committee
- Council Liaison, Friends of Del Mar Parks
- Council Liaison, Del Mar Historical Society
Carl is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.; member of Rotary for over 30 years; he is admitted to practice law before State and Federal courts in California and in the District of Columbia, the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court; and he has been appointed as commissioner of the San Diego County Cable Television Review Commission.