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We’re told the name Nebraska comes from the Otoe term Ñí Brásg, meaning “serene water.” The Platte River flows across the state until it converges with the Missouri. From there, it meets the Mississippi, creating the unstoppable force that gives it the name “mighty.” Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of heartland geography, but our purpose today is to draw an analogy to the most recent recipient of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Partner Award: Nebraska’s favorite daughter – and among the FTC’s favorite partners – Abigail Stempson.

Director of the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute’s (NAGTRI) Center for Consumer Protection at the National Association of Attorneys General, Abby has devoted her career to the cause of consumer protection. Before coming to NAAG in 2017, Abby was Chief of the Consumer Protection Bureau in the Nebraska AG’s Office, where she was a formidable leader in the fight against fraud and deception. At NAGTRI, Abby heads the nation’s only entity dedicated solely to providing training, research, and expertise to the staff of AGs’ offices and other government agencies committed to protecting the public from consumer fraud and abuse.

In honoring Abby with its Partner Award, the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection acknowledges her preeminent role as an advocate, a uniter, and a teacher. Our point with the initial geographical reference – and we have one, we promise – is that like the Platte River, Abby’s efforts as an Assistant Attorney General extended across the Cornhusker State from Scottsbluff to Omaha, improving the lives of Nebraskans at all points in between. 

To carry the analogy a step further, Abby’s true superpower is the force she unleashes when she joins with law enforcers nationally to tackle the most challenging consumer protection issues of the day. Consumers and consumer protection agencies have benefited from her leadership at NAGTRI, where she proves every day that we’re best when we work together and her cooperative partnerships with the Bureau of Consumer Protection demonstrate that. Whether it’s crafting law enforcement responses to tech support scams, bringing members of the community together at FTC-AG Common Ground conferences, or meeting the challenges of the COVID pandemic, our joint efforts are more effective thanks to Abby’s legal expertise, leadership, and “can do” approach to collaborative enforcement and education.

Abby has ensured her legacy as a valued partner through her role as an inspiring teacher. She has trained hundreds of State Assistant Attorneys General in the basics – and intricacies – of consumer protection enforcement. Whether through formal training programs or the shoulder-to-shoulder example she sets as she works in the consumer protection trenches, we carry out our shared mission to protect and educate more effectively, thanks to Abby.

For these reasons, the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection is privileged to present its Partner Award to the mighty Abigail Stempson.


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