FTC Announces Departure of General Counsel Willard K. Tom, Appointments of David Shonka as Acting General Counsel and Peter Miller as Chief Privacy Officer

For Release

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz today announced that Willard K. “Will” Tom, the agency’s General Counsel, has left the agency to return to the private sector, and that David Shonka, the FTC’s Principal Deputy General Counsel, will serve as Acting General Counsel.  Leibowitz also announced the appointment of Peter Miller as the FTC’s Chief Privacy Officer (CPO).
 
“Will served this agency with great distinction,” Leibowitz said.  “His leadership helped bring significant antitrust and consumer protection victories on behalf of American consumers, and we will sorely miss his thoughtfulness, wise counsel, and extraordinary writing skills.  We are fortunate that Dave Shonka will serve as Acting General Counsel, as he did very admirably before Will became General Counsel.”

As the Commission’s chief legal officer and adviser, the General Counsel represents the agency in court and provides legal counsel to the Commission and its bureaus and offices.  Will led the Office of General Counsel (OGC) for more than three years.  He previously practiced antitrust law as a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Washington, D.C. office, and during his earlier service at the FTC he was Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition and led the Bureau’s policy office.

Shonka has served as the FTC’s Principal Deputy General Counsel since April 2008.  He joined the office in 1977 as a staff attorney and later became Assistant General Counsel for Litigation.  Shonka oversees OGC’s Litigation, Legal Counsel, and Policy Studies units.  He also oversees the agency’s FOIA, employment counsel, and Energy Counsel functions, and chairs the FTC’s e-Discovery Steering Committee for government law enforcement investigations.  He graduated from the University of Maine School of Law and earned his B.A. from the University of Nebraska, where he majored in English and economics.

As Chief Privacy Officer, Miller coordinates efforts to implement and review the agency’s policies and procedures for safeguarding all sensitive information.  He also chairs the FTC’s Privacy Steering Committee and the Breach Notification Response Team.  Miller has served as Acting CPO since the former Chief Privacy Officer left the FTC.  He has worked at the FTC for nine years, previously serving as Assistant Director for Regional Operations in the Bureau of Consumer Protection and as a staff attorney in the Division of Advertising Practices.  Before coming to the FTC he was an attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division and an associate with Miller & Chevalier.  Miller received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Texas and his B.A. from Rice University.

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