FTC Chairman Appoints Parnes Consumer Protection Director

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Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras has appointed Lydia B. Parnes to be Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP). Parnes, who was named Acting Bureau Director by then-Chairman Timothy J. Muris last July, will lead the FTC’s work to protect U.S. consumers from fraud and deception in the marketplace. BCP efforts include consumer protection law and trade regulation rule enforcement, individual company and industry investigations, administrative and federal court litigation, rulemaking proceedings, and consumer and business education.

Under her leadership, BCP has recommended a number of important law enforcement actions for Commission prosecution, including cutting-edge spam and spyware cases. Since July 2004, the FTC has filed 57 consumer protection actions in federal district court and obtained 67 judgments ordering the return of more than a quarter of a billion dollars in redress to consumers.

“Lydia is a tough, balanced enforcer on behalf of American consumers,” Majoras said. “She is highly regarded inside and outside the FTC for her outstanding leadership skills, and has been at the forefront of every major BCP initiative for more than 10 years. I trust her judgment and rely on her as a key member of my senior team.”

Parnes joined the FTC in 1981 as an attorney advisor to former Chairman James C. Miller III. In 1992, she was appointed BCP Deputy Director by the late, former Chairman Janet D. Steiger and since then has been active in all aspects of the Bureau’s law enforcement and consumer education programs, including the implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry, development of the Hispanic consumer law enforcement and outreach initiative, and the creation of the Criminal Liaison Unit to facilitate the criminal prosecution of fraud. She helped plan and implement Consumer Sentinel, the nation’s largest consumer fraud complaint database, which provides a centralized source of data to thousands of law enforcement officials around the country, and the national Identity Theft Clearinghouse. In addition, she helped to establish BCP’s Diversity Council and continues to shepherd the Bureau’s recruiting programs.

Prior to becoming Deputy Director, Parnes served as Associate Director of the Division of Marketing Practices and Assistant Director of the Division of Policy and Evaluation.

Parnes is a graduate of the Washington College of Law at American University. She received her undergraduate degree from American University. She is married and has two children.

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