Today, Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") Chairwoman Edith Ramirez announced that Jessica Rich has been named Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection (the "Bureau"). Rich, who has more than 22 years of experience at the Commission, currently serves as Associate Director in the Bureau's Division of Financial Practices. She will take over the Bureau Director role from Acting Bureau Director Charles Harwood, who will return to his previous position as Deputy Bureau Director.
Well-regarded both inside and outside of the Commission, Rich is a nationally recognized thought-leader in the fields of mobile payments, mobile cramming and debt collection services, as well as privacy, data and identity protection, and emerging technologies. As Associate Director for the Division of Financial Practices, Jessica has been responsible for implementation of the division's enforcement priorities relating to consumer financial services and coordination of activities with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During the past several years, she has been a driving force behind the Bureau's ongoing consumer privacy initiatives, including its increased focus on issues relating to mobile technologies and applications. Before her role in the Division of Financial Practices, Rich was a Deputy Bureau Director under former Bureau Director David Vladeck. While Deputy Bureau Director, she received the "Chairman's Award," the Commission's highest award for meritorious service.
Rich also served for 11 years as Assistant and then Associate Director in the Bureau's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. In that position, she handled or oversaw a wide range of privacy and data security matters, including development of the Children's Online Privacy Protection ("COPPA") Rule, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Safeguards Rule, the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") Disposal Rule, and Health Breach Notification Rules, as well as privacy-focused enforcement against companies including Microsoft, Toysmart, ChoicePoint, BJ's Warehouse, and others. Rich also played an instrumental role in the FTC's Behavioral Advertising initiative, including development of the staff Behavioral Advertising Principles and report; provided testimony and technical assistance to Congress regarding draft and proposed legislation; and initiated public workshops, surveys, and reports on new and emerging technology issues.
Before her work in the privacy division, Rich served as counselor to Bureau Directors Jodie Z. Bernstein and Barry Cutler, and was an attorney in private practice. She is a graduate of New York University Law School and Harvard College.
As Bureau Director, it is expected that Rich will continue to focus the Commission's efforts on addressing a number of key emerging technology issues, including consumers' increased use of the mobile Internet, expanding consumer data collection by businesses, and privacy issues relating to the growing interconnection between everyday consumer devices.