Federal Trade Commission Chairman William E. Kovacic announced today that Maureen Ohlhausen, Director of the agency’s Office of Policy Planning for the past four years, will leave the agency, and that James Cooper, currently the Deputy Director, has been named Acting Director.
“For over a decade, Maureen has served this agency brilliantly,” Chairman Kovacic said. “Under her leadership, the Office of Policy Planning has helped to bring clarity and understanding to significant competition issues affecting a wide range of leading industries.” Ohlhausen, who began her career with the Commission in 1997, will become the Technology Policy Counsel at the Business Software Alliance, a nonprofit trade association that promotes innovation, growth, and a competitive marketplace for commercial software and related technologies.
Ohlhausen became the Director of the Office of Policy Planning in 2004, having served previously as its Deputy Director. At Chairman Kovacic’s request, in recent months she has led the agency self-assessment project, “FTC at 100: Into our Second Century.”
As head of the Commission’s Internet Access Task Force, Ohlhausen managed the FTC staff’s inquiry into net neutrality and oversaw a 2007 staff report, “Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy,” as well as a 2006 report, “Municipal Provision of Wireless Internet.” Other significant reports authored under her leadership include the joint FTC/Department of Justice report on “Competition in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry,” “Enforcement Perspectives on the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine,” “Accounting for Laws that Apply Differently to the U.S. Postal Service,” and “The Strength of Competition in the Sale of Rx Contact Lenses.” During her leadership, the Office also issued numerous state and federal advocacy filings.
From 1998 to 2001, Ohlhausen served as an attorney advisor for former FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle, advising him on competition and consumer protection matters. Before joining the agency’s General Counsel’s Office in 1997, she spent five years at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, serving as a law clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle. Ohlhausen previously clerked for Judge Robert Yock of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims from 1991 to 1992.
Ohlhausen was graduated with distinction from George Mason University School of Law in 1991, having graduated with honors from the University of Virginia in 1984. She is a Senior Editor of the Antitrust Law Journal and a member of the ABA Task Force on Competition and Public Policy.
Kovacic also announced that James Cooper will serve as Acting Director of the Office of Policy Planning. Cooper joined the FTC in 2003, having worked at the Washington, D.C. law firm Crowell & Moring, where he practiced in the antitrust group. He graduated magna cum laude from George Mason University School of Law and was a member of the George Mason Law Review. Cooper also holds a Ph.D. in economics from Emory University. He has published articles on topics such as price discrimination, antitrust treatment of vertical relationships among firms, competition in the contact lens industry, and the theory of competition advocacy. Cooper also teaches a course on law and economics at the Johns Hopkins University’s graduate program in applied economics in Washington, D.C.