Chairman announces appointments for policy development, and other personnel matters in the Bureau of Competition

Share This Page

For Your Information

Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras today announced several recent appointments and promotions that reinforce the agency’s commitment to maintaining a leadership role in competition enforcement and policy and, in particular, in the interface between competition and intellectual property.

To further the Commission’s research and policy work, Bill Cohen has been appointed Deputy General Counsel for Policy Studies, a role to which he brings a wealth of experience, having contributed significantly to hearings and reports on antitrust issues involving patent policy, state action protections, and supermarket slotting allowances. He also served as Project Manager for Innovation in the Commission's Hearings on Global and Innovation-Based Competition, helped the Commission prepare adjudicatory opinions, and served as an Attorney Advisor for former Chairman Janet Steiger. Joining Mr. Cohen in his office as Assistant General Counsel for Policy Studies is Karen Grimm. She comes to the agency from a partnership in Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, where she had an extensive antitrust practice, specializing in ATM and other payment system networks. At the firm, she advised the nation’s largest joint venture ATM network and clients in the health care industry, and participated in significant government and private antitrust litigation matters.

Also in the policy area, Suzanne Michel has been appointed Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Policy Coordination in the Bureau of Competition. She previously served as the Commission's Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property, analyzing the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust, and in her new role will continue to develop the Bureau's intellectual property initiatives.

Finally in the area of policy, James Cooper has been promoted to Deputy Director in the Office of Policy Planning. As an Assistant Director, Dr. Cooper handled the Commission’s real estate workshop and advocacy program, and used his background as an economist to design and conduct economic studies while writing papers that advance the Commission’s competition policy understanding. Also, Greg Luib has been promoted to Assistant Director from the position of Attorney Advisor, where he played a vital role in completing the Commission’s Noerr Report and forming the Internet Access Task Force.

Chairman Majoras also announced recent appointments and promotions in the Bureau of Competition:

  • Alden Abbott has been promoted to Associate Director of the Bureau of Competition, having served previously as Assistant Director of the Office of Policy and Coordination. Before joining the FTC in 2001, he served as Acting General Counsel for the Department of Commerce. Abbott is an Adjunct Faculty Member at George Mason University School of Law.

  • Markus Meier has been appointed Assistant Director of the Health Care Services and Products Division. As Deputy Assistant Director of the Division, he has helped manage healthcare investigations since joining the agency in 1990. Bradley Albert has been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director from his position as a senior staff attorney in the Division, where he worked on many of the Bureau’s most important matters.

  • Sean Gates has been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director in the Anticompetitive Practices Division from his position as a senior staff attorney in the Division, where he helped litigate the Union Oil Company of California matter and participated in a number of significant investigations.

  • Robert Tovsky has been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director in the Mergers II Division, where he has more than 20 years of experience as a senior staff attorney with Mergers II and its predecessor shops, working on a variety of significant merger investigations involving industries such as chemicals, food retailing, and other manufacturing inputs.
  • Peter Richman has been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director for the Mergers III Division. As a senior attorney in the Division, he has led litigation and investigation teams in a variety of industries, including energy, software, healthcare, and pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution, and he has participated in most of the Commission’s major refined products merger investigations and non-merger petroleum investigations since 1997. In addition, Jolanta Sterbenz will join the agency as a Deputy Assistant Director for Mergers III. She is currently a partner at Hogan & Hartson, where her antitrust practice has focused on the energy industry, including gas and electric utility regulation at the state and federal level. She also has served as Chair of the Federal Energy Bar Association's Antitrust Section, and as Vice Chair of the Fuels and Energy Subcommittee for the American Bar Association's Antitrust Section.

  • Joan Heim has joined the agency as a Deputy Assistant Director in the Mergers IV Division. Before beginning her current work as a special counsel at Heller Ehrman, she served in various positions in the Bureau and as an Attorney Advisor for former Commissioner Mary Azcuenaga.

  • Jeanine Balbach has been appointed Chief of Staff of the Bureau of Competition, having served previously as an assistant to the Director, as a staff attorney in the Mergers II Division, and as an Attorney Advisor for former Chairman Timothy J. Muris.


The Bureau has expanded and refined responsibilities for its Assistant to the Director positions, which now have the title, Counsels to the Director:

  • Erika Brown-Lee is serving as Counsel to the Director. As a staff attorney in the Mergers IV Division, she worked on merger investigations in industries, including retail, consumer goods, hospitals, and funeral homes.

  • Ken Field has joined the agency as a Counsel to the Director, having been a member of the antitrust practice group at Jones Day.

  • Elizabeth Kraus also is serving as Counsel to the Director. As Counsel for Multilateral Affairs in the Bureau’s International Division, she represented the Commission in a number of international fora related to competition policy and law enforcement, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Competition Network.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
FTC Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180