Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy J. Muris today announced that Todd Zywicki, Director of the Office of Policy Planning (OPP), will leave the Commission July 29 to return to his post as professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law and as a senior fellow of the James Buchanan Center Program on Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. During the 2004-05 academic year, he will serve as a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. Zywicki has been Director of the Office of Policy Planning since May 2003, when he was appointed by Chairman Muris. Maureen Ohlhausen, currently the Deputy Director of Policy Planning, will be named Acting Director, and will assume Zywicki’s duties following his departure.
“Todd has helped the FTC make important contributions to a wide range of legal issues including competition as it relates to e-commerce, the importance of accurate and informative food labeling, and the need for vigorous competition in the provision of health care and legal services to all consumers,” Muris said.
Zywicki’s leadership of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning yielded impressive results, both in the area of competition and consumer protection advocacy and interagency policy coordination. He headed up FTC’s efforts regarding the filing of comments on the states’ below-cost gasoline rules, over-expansive definitions of the unauthorized practice of law by state bar associations, direct-to-consumer drug advertising, and qualified health claims for food products. In addition, he coordinated the development of the FTC’s comments before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding the application of U.S. Future Exchange, L.L.C., for contract market designation.
During Zywicki’s tenure, the FTC also issued two important reports, “Possible Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce: Wine” and “Possible Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce: Contact Lenses.” Following the issuance of the first report in 2003, Zywicki testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection’s Committee on Energy and Commerce on “E-commerce: The Case of Online Wine Sales and Direct Shipment.” He also participated in the Commission’s efforts to protect consumers through class action reforms.
Ohlhausen began working at the FTC in September 1997. She joined the Office of Policy Planning in September 2001, and was appointed its Deputy Director in 2003. She has been responsible for a variety of issues affecting competition and consumer protection, including the regulation of the professions, restrictions on advertising, antitrust immunities, and e-commerce. Ohlhausen was a principal author of the FTC staff report “Possible Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce: Contact Lenses.” She also contributed significantly to the FTC staff comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on advertising and First Amendment issues, and the FTC amicus curiae brief in Powers v. Harris.
From 1998-2001, Ohlhausen served as an attorney advisor for FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle, advising him on both competition and consumer protection matters. From 1997 to 1998, she worked in the Commission’s Office of General Counsel. Before coming to the FTC, Ohlhausen worked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1992 to 1997, serving as law clerk for Judge David Sentelle. She also clerked for Judge Robert Yock of the U.S. Court for Federal Claims from 1991 to 1992. She is a 1991 graduate of George Mason University Law School with distinction, and a 1984 honors graduate of the University of Virginia.
Information about the Federal Trade Commission is available from the FTC’s Web site at www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.