Former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Robert Pitofsky has been named this year's recipient of the Miles W. Kirkpatrick Award. Current FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris called Pitofsky "one of the founding fathers of the modern FTC," citing his continuing commitment to consumer protection. "Pitofsky had resounding success in implementing a coherent, principled vision for the agency, based on his understanding that consumer welfare is the agency's reason for being," Muris said.
Pitofsky, a graduate of New York University and the Columbia University School of Law, served as Chairman of the FTC from April 1995 to June 2001. Pitofsky previously served as an FTC Commissioner from 1978 to 1981 and as a Director of its Bureau of Consumer Protection from 1970 to 1973. Before his initial service with the FTC, he practiced in the antitrust group in the Washington office of Arnold & Porter from 1973 to 1978. Currently, he is an Of Counsel at Arnold & Porter, focusing on antitrust and trade regulation matters. Pitofsky also has chaired the Defense Science Board Task Force on Antitrust Aspects of Defense Industry Downsizing and served as Dean and Executive Vice President for Law Center Affairs at Georgetown University. From his position in private practice, he continues to be a public supporter of the FTC.
The Kirkpatrick Award was established in 2001 to honor the commitment, talent, and contributions of individuals who, throughout their public and private careers, have made lasting and significant contributions to the FTC. The award's namesake, Miles Kirkpatrick, is a legendary figure among the antitrust community because of his dynamic leadership of the American Bar Association's 1969 Commission to study the FTC. President Richard Nixon commissioned the study following a report by "Nader's Raiders," which concluded that the FTC was so riddled with antiquated procedures and weakness in leadership, management and performance that it failed to perform its statutory role in policing the rapidly growing consumer problems in America. The Kirkpatrick Report resulted in a mandate for substantial reform and reorganization of the agency, including the recruitment of highly qualified and motivated new talent.