Joseph Simons was sworn in today as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. President Donald J. Trump named Simons, a Republican, to a term on the Commission that expires September 25, 2024, and designated him as Chairman.
Simons was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 26, 2018.
“It is a great honor to lead the FTC, an agency that plays a key role in protecting American consumers and promoting competition in the U.S. economy,” Simons said. “I want to express my gratitude to Acting Chairman Ohlhausen for her outstanding work as head of the Commission for the last 15 months, and for her continued service as a Commissioner. I am excited to work with such an accomplished group of incoming Commissioners, as well.”
Chairman Simons noted that, under Ohlhausen’s leadership, the FTC continued vigorous competition and consumer protection enforcement, including in the high tech and health care arenas. The agency brought over 18 privacy and data security cases, including Lenovo, V-Tech, and Ashley Madison. Ohlhausen also strengthened the agency’s understanding of informational injuries and advocacy for occupational licensing reform through the development of her signature economic liberty initiative, and furthered many process and regulatory reforms.
In addition to Simons, the Senate confirmed four others who were nominated by President Trump to serve as Commissioners. Three of them, Republican Noah Phillips, and Democrats Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Rohit Chopra, are expected to be sworn in later this week. The fourth, Republican Christine Wilson, was appointed to fill the seat currently held by Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen, and she will take office when Commissioner Ohlhausen leaves the agency.
Prior to becoming FTC Chairman, Simons was a partner and co-chair of the Antitrust Group at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Simons has held two previous positions at the Commission. He served as Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition between 2001 and 2003, during which he was responsible for overseeing the re-invigoration of the FTC’s non-merger enforcement program. In an earlier stint at the Commission in the 1980s, Simons served as the FTC’s Associate Director for Mergers and the Assistant Director for Evaluation. Simons earned the FTC’s Award for Meritorious Service.
Simons received his A.B. in Economics and History from Cornell University in 1980 and his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983.
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