Jodie Bernstein, former Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, has been named the 2003 recipient of the Miles W. Kirkpatrick Award. FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris called Bernstein “a legend in her own time.” Citing her exemplary commitment to the consumer protection mission, Muris stated, “Jodie brought extraordinary leadership and management techniques to the FTC. The careful planning process she instilled resulted in spectacular implementation – hundreds of sound cases, the flowering of consumer and business education, the creation of an Internet- and phone-based system for consumer complaints, dozens of workshops on the myriad issues of the consumer protection world, unprecedented cooperation with other federal, state, and international agencies, and much, much more. She led the Commission to new initiatives involving the Internet, subprime lending, and privacy.”
Bernstein, a graduate of Yale Law School, served as the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection from May 1995 to May 2001. She previously served in various positions within BCP from 1970 to 1976. (Acting Director, Deputy Director and Assistant to the Director). From 1977 to 1979, she held the position of General Counsel and acting Administrator for Enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency. Bernstein also has chaired the Congressional Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians and served as vice chair of the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Currently, Bernstein is Of Counsel at the law firm Bryan Cave LLP, focusing her practice in the area of consumer protection law.
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.