About the Agency
This position is located in the Bureau of Economics (BE) of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Bureau of Economics provides economic analysis and support to antitrust and consumer protection investigations and rulemakings; advises the Commission and other government entities about the impact of government regulation on competition; and analyzes the impacts of various economic phenomena on competition, consumer protection, and consumer welfare. The Division of Consumer Protection generally is responsible for providing economic analysis and evidence in support of the FTC’s consumer protection mission. The Division prepares economic analyses of selected consumer protection cases for the evaluation, Commission review, and compliance stages of enforcement actions. In addition, the Division provides economic support for the Commission’s consumer protection rulemaking process. This support entails both statistical and analytical efforts to ascertain facts, provide a sound economic basis in the rulemaking record for the Commission’s actions, and dispel incorrect economic analyses of key issues arising in the context of the rulemaking process. The Division also provides economic evidence on selected policy issues to help inform the Commission’s policy decisions on important consumer protection questions (e.g., health claims in advertising, product-specific advertising bans).
The Assistant Director is a key member of the Bureau’s management team, and is delegated to act for the Bureau’s Director and Deputy Director for Consumer Protection in interpreting and carrying out the Commission’s objectives across a broad spectrum of economic issues relevant to consumer protection. The Assistant Director devises and implements policies to advance the Commission’s consumer protection objectives, and manages the economic component of the full range of consumer protection, economic research, advocacy, and (occasionally) antitrust issues assigned to the Division. Many of the economic issues confronted in consumer protection cases, research, and rulemakings often have not been addressed by prior economic research. As a result, Bureau economists often must blaze a trail for others to follow. In carrying out his or her duties, the Assistant Director reviews policy recommendations that affect Division, Bureau, and Agency missions; considers political, social, economic, technical, and administrative factors that may potentially impact recommended policies; and formally recommends actions to the Commission.
The incumbent ensures that the Division provides high quality economic analysis to the Commission, Congress, and the public. The incumbent formulates goals and objectives for consumer protection law enforcement investigations and rulemaking proceedings; determines the resources to be used in support of these investigations; reviews the staff analysis of consumer protection investigations, especially those considered important or precedent-setting; assists the Bureau’s efforts to identify and analyze business practices that may lead to consumer harm; formulates appropriate remedies for such practices; and proposes changes to existing laws that would promote consumer welfare.
The Assistant Director is a key provider of advice to the Commission on broad questions of consumer protection policy, such as evaluation of potentially harmful business practices and conduct, and evaluation of policies to remedy the effects of those practices. The incumbent leads, supervises, and occasionally conducts economic and econometric analyses in support of agency investigations, litigation, and rulemakings. The incumbent also plays a leading role in selecting expert witnesses employed by the Commission in support of its litigation efforts, and in preparing those witnesses for trial, including the careful evaluation of the economic and statistical analyses offered by those witnesses in support of their testimony and conclusions. Additionally, the incumbent also plays a leading role in evaluating and critiquing the testimony, and supporting economic and statistical analysis, presented by respondents’ economic experts. The incumbent also is a leading contributor to the design and implementation of remedies imposed by the Commission to alleviate conduct and practices that harm consumer welfare. This work has far-reaching implications for the preservation of the free enterprise system.
The incumbent evaluates proposed economic studies and competition advocacy projects, and ultimately is responsible for ensuring that the final economic analyses are economically sound, empirically based, and consistent with the Commission’s consumer protection mission and policies. During the course of most assignments, the incumbent collaborates with the staff economists, research analysts, staff attorneys, and supervising attorneys assigned to the case. The incumbent has primary responsibility for developing or overseeing the development of the economic theories used to guide consumer protection investigations, designing the investigative strategy to be followed, determining the type and quantity of economic evidence necessary for evaluating the candidate theories of consumer harm, and for selecting and evaluating various information sources.