In 95-1 vote yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama's nomination of Terrell McSweeny as the fifth commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). McSweeny's confirmation—almost ten months after she was first nominated—fills the vacancy that was created when former Chairman Jon Leibowitz stepped down in February of 2013.
McSweeny's confirmation is significant in that it restores the Democrat's 3-2 majority on the Commission. McSweeny joins Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Julie Brill in the majority; Maureen Ohlhausen and Joshua Wright are the two Republican Commissioners. Prior to McSweeny's confirmation, in the case of 2-2 tie, the FTC would decline to intervene.
Prior to her nomination, McSweeny worked with Vice President Biden between 2005 and 2012 in various roles, including as his deputy chief of staff, as counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as his domestic policy advisor. More recently, McSweeny served as senior counsel of competition policy in the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice.
McSweeny brings expertise in a variety of industries, including health insurance, health care, consumer products and a wide range of policy issues. During her September 2013 confirmation hearings, McSweeny vowed to protect the middle class through competition and consumer protection enforcement, including privacy regulations. Among other things, McSweeny discussed the need to protect children's privacy, the rapidly evolving mobile technology landscape, and the necessity for public education with respect to online data collection.
McSweeny is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law School.