On Thursday, March 19, 2012, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Maureen Ohlhausen as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Ms. Ohlhausen is a seasoned attorney who has handled consumer privacy and data security issues in public service and private practice, and her confirmation suggests that the FTC will continue to emphasize these areas of the law.
Ms. Ohlhausen, currently a partner with Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, was nominated by President Obama in July 2011 to replace Republican William Kovacic, whose term expired in September 2011. As one of five Commissioners, Ms. Ohlhausen will have a seven-year term.
Ms. Ohlhausen returns to the FTC, where she served for eleven years, including a four-year tenure as Director of the Office of Policy Planning. In this role, Ms. Ohlhausen addressed a variety of high-tech legal and policy issues, including barriers to electronic commerce, and online merchants’ use of consumer data. In addition, she headed up the FTC’s Internet Access Task Force. Previously, Ms. Ohlhausen clerked for current Chief Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and clerked at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for Judge Robert Yock. Ms. Ohlhausen is a graduate of George Mason University Law School, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.