On Thursday, the White House announced the nomination of CPSC Executive Director Elliot F. Kaye to chair the agency. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Kaye would fill former Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum’s position, which has been vacant since she left at the expiration of her term in October 2013. Mr. Kaye’s term would end in October 2020.
Mr. Kaye would join Democrat Commissioners Bob Adler (currently serving as Acting Chairman) and Marietta Robinson, and Republican Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle. It is likely that his nomination would get approved concurrently with Joe Mohorovic’s, and complete the five-Commissioner agency. Mr. Mohorovic was nominated in November 2013, but has not yet received a confirmation hearing; however, the Senate typically considers nominees in pairs. Interestingly, both Mr. Mohorovic and Acting Chairman Adler are also former CPSC staffers, making three of the President’s last four nominees CPSC insiders. Commission veteran Gib Mullan also returned last month to serve as Commissioner Buerkle’s Chief Counsel; he had served as the CPSC’s General Counsel and Director of Compliance previously.
Mr. Kaye joined the Commission in 2010 as senior counsel to former Chairwoman Tenenbaum, rising up the ranks to become Deputy Chief of Staff and then Chief of Staff in April 2012 and May 2013, respectively. Since the former Chairwoman’s departure last October, he has served as the CPSC’s Executive Director. Prior to joining the CPSC, Mr. Kaye was in private practice, and also spent time working in the public sector in New York City, as well as on Capitol Hill. During his time at the CPSC, Mr. Kaye has worked with industry on brain safety issues in youth sports, helping found the Youth Football Brain Safety Initiative in 2012, as well as focused on injuries from coin cell battery ingestion and carbon monoxide poisoning.