Hatfield has worked tirelessly on spectrum management issues and telecom reform for nearly four decades. Early in his career, he worked for the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and then left to form Hatfield Associations in 1982. In 1997, he returned to the FCC as chief technologist and then as chief of its office of engineering. He retired in December 2000.
Probably best-known for writing the Hatfield Report, which detailed several issues pertaining to the deployment of wireless E911 service, Hatfield today works as an independent consultant and an adjunct professor in the interdisciplinary telecommunications program at the University of Colorado at Boulder.