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Former Chairman


Joseph J. Simons was sworn in as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission on May 1, 2018.  He served as FTC Chairman from May 2018 until January 2021.

Before joining the Commission, Joe was a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Co-Chair of the firm’s Antitrust Group. His practice there focused on antitrust M&A, litigation, and counseling.

Prior to joining Paul, Weiss, he was the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition from 2001 until 2003, and he also served an earlier stint at the Bureau of Competition from 1987 to 1989 as Assistant to the Director, then Assistant Director for Evaluation, and finally Associate Director for Mergers.

Along with a former chief economist of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Joe developed “Critical Loss Analysis,” a technique for market definition that has been adopted and used widely by the Antitrust Division, the FTC, and the U.S. Court of Appeals. It has also been incorporated into the DOJ/FTC Horizontal Merger Guidelines.

He received his A.B. in Economics and History from Cornell University in 1980 and his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983.

Joe lives in Virginia with his wife, Martha. They have six children between them.

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