More Personnel Changes at FTC

Advertising Law

The shake-up at the Federal Trade Commission goes on, with Commissioner Terrell McSweeny announcing her plans to resign and the Senate confirming the five White House nominees to give the agency a full slate for the first time in years.

Nominated by President Barack Obama, McSweeny joined the FTC in April 2014. She had previously served as chief counsel for competition policy and intergovernmental relations for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, as well as deputy assistant to the President and domestic policy advisor to President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden, respectively.

“I am grateful to President Obama and Vice President Biden for the opportunity to serve during some important milestones in the FTC’s history including the 100th anniversary of the agency and its first Commission led entirely by women,” McSweeny said in her resignation statement. “During the last four years, the FTC took careful stock of the tools it needs to remain nimble enough to navigate fast-paced digital markets.… I hope future commissions will build on this work, expand the FTC’s use of cutting-edge research and technological expertise, and protect the agency’s independence.”

A particular point of pride: the more than 500 unanimous votes she cast with Acting FTC Chair Maureen Ohlhausen. “In a highly charged and partisan time, we worked to make sure that the FTC remains an expert agency governed by bipartisan consensus,” McSweeny said.

She stepped down on April 28.

The five nominees—Republicans Joseph Simons (selected as the new chair), Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson, and Democrats Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter—were confirmed by the full Senate on April 26.

To read Commissioner McSweeny’s resignation statement, click here.

Why it matters: Slowly but surely, the open positions at the FTC were filled. The agency now has a full roster of Commissioners for the first time in years. Rounding out the roster, Andrew Smith could soon be tapped to lead the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, according to news reports. Smith served as an assistant to the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection from 2001 to 2005 and spent more than a decade in private practice in Washington, D.C., representing online lenders and consumer credit reporting firms.



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