Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz today named former FTC Commissioner and Chairman William E. Kovacic the 2011 recipient of the Miles W. Kirkpatrick Award for Lifetime FTC Achievement, noting how much of his professional career and personal passion Kovacic has devoted to the agency. “Bill Kovacic provided exceptional leadership during his years of service to the Federal Trade Commission and the American public,” said Chairman Leibowitz. “As an attorney, teacher, General Counsel, Commissioner, Chairman, and colleague, his unceasing efforts have made the FTC stronger, more nimble, and more effective.”
Kovacic was an FTC Commissioner from January 2006 to October 2011, and served as Chairman of the agency from March 2008 to March 2009. Kovacic previously was the FTC’s General Counsel from 2001 through 2004, and also worked for the agency from 1979 until 1983, initially as a staff attorney in the Bureau of Competition’s Planning Office and later as an attorney advisor to former Commissioner George W. Douglas.
Kovacic has returned to George Washington University Law School where he began teaching in 1999 and where he once was the E.K. Gubin Professor of Government Contracts Law. Prior to that, he taught at the George Mason University School of Law. Earlier in his career, Kovacic practiced antitrust and government contracts law for three years at Bryan Cave’s Washington, D.C., office, and spent one year on the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee.
Kovacic has served as an adviser on antitrust and consumer protection issues to the governments of Armenia, Benin, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Panama, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Since January 2009, he has also served as Vice Chairman for Outreach of the International Competition Network. Kovacic received a bachelor degree from Princeton University in 1974 and a law degree from Columbia University in 1978.
The Kirkpatrick Award was established in 2001 to honor the commitment and talent of individuals who have made lasting and significant contributions to the FTC throughout their public and private careers. It is named after Miles Kirkpatrick, a legendary figure in the antitrust community known for his dynamic leadership of the American Bar Association’s 1969 commission to study the FTC. Kirkpatrick wrote a report that resulted in a mandate for substantial reform and reorganization of the agency. Kirkpatrick served as FTC Chairman from 1970 to 1973, and in that capacity was able to implement the recommendations of the 1969 report, including recruitment of highly qualified and motivated new talent.
Previous recipients of the award include Basil J. Mezines, Robert Pitofsky, Jodie Bernstein, Caswell O. Hobbs, III, Calvin J. Collier, Thomas B. Leary, Mary Gardiner Jones, and Timothy J. Muris.
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