Federal Trade Commission Chairman Robert Pitofsky has named Debra A. Valentine to be the FTC’s first female General Counsel, the Commission’s chief legal officer and adviser. Valentine was most recently the Commission’s Assistant Director for International Antitrust where she oversaw the FTC competition staff’s dealings with competition authorities around the world. She also directed the staff’s work with multilateral organizations such as the WTO, APEC and the OECD in Paris.
Valentine has extensive experience in both the private and public sector. Before joining the FTC, Valentine was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers, where she specialized in complex civil litigation and regulatory matters. She was counsel to Lockheed, CIGNA, United Air Lines, Ford Motor Company and others before courts and agencies in federal antitrust matters. Valentine also was counsel to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in a constitutional challenge to its governing structure and counsel to the District of Columbia judges in a federal case involving equal protection and due process issues. While at O’Melveny, Valentine served as a consultant to the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa and was a member of the Advisory Council to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies for its Project on Children and TV Violence for The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Valentine came to the FTC in 1995 as Deputy Director for Policy Planning where she coordinated several months of FTC hearings on global and innovation-based competition and was a major drafter of the Commission’s report, "Competition Policy in the New High-Tech, Global Marketplace."
Before her private practice, Valentine was an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice from 1981 to early 1985 where she advised the Attorney General and the President on constitutional issues and disputes between executive departments.
A 1976 graduate of Princeton University, Valentine graduated Phi Beta Kappa. The following year she spent in Munich, Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. Valentine received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980 where she was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal. She clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit before she moved to Washington, D.C.
Currently, Valentine is a member of the American Law Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the ABA and District of Columbia Bar.
The FTC Office of General Counsel’s major functions are representing the Commission in court and providing legal counsel to the Commission and the FTC’s bureaus of competition, consumer protection, and economics.