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NLRB, FTC, and CFTC have new leadership

Joe Mont | January 26, 2017

President Donald Trump has named Philip A. Miscimarra acting chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.

“It is an honor to be named NLRB Acting Chairman by the President,” Miscimarra, a current board member, said. “I remain committed to the task that Congress has assigned to the Board, which is to foster stability and to apply the National Labor Relations Act in an even-handed manner that serves the interests of employees, employers and unions throughout the country.”

Miscimarra also recognized former Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce for his service on the Board. Pearce will continue as a Board Member in a term expiring on Aug. 27, 2018 and has served as a board member since 2010, including chairman since 2011. The Board also currently includes Board Member Lauren McFerran, whose term expires on Dec. 16, 2019. Two Board Member seats are currently vacant.

Miscimarra has served as a Board Member since August 7, 2013. He was nominated by President Obama on April 9, 2013 and confirmed by the Senate on July 30, 2013. His current term expires on December 16, 2017.

Before joining the Board, Miscimarra was a Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School in the Wharton Center for Human Resources, and a labor and employment law partner with Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Chicago. He also previously worked as a labor and employment attorney with Seyfarth Shaw, Murphy Smith & Polk (now the Chicago office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart), and Reed Smith Shaw & McClay (now Reed Smith LLP).

Miscimarra received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duquesne University.

“The appointment is the first step in a process of returning the Board to balancing the rights of employees with the legitimate interests of employers as set forth in the National Labor Relations Act,” says Michael Lotito, co-chair of law firm Littler Mendelson’s Workplace Policy Institute “Over the past five years, the NLRB has reversed over 4500 years of precedent, often over the dissent of new Chair Miscimarra. Now the new administration must appoint two new members to the Board to fill the vacancies that now exist. Hopefully, that will happen soon followed by quick confirmation. Only then, with the Board at full strength, will it be able to tackle critical workplace issues needing a reasoned resolution.”

In related moves, Trump has also designated Maureen Ohlhausen as acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

 Ohlhausen was sworn in as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission on April 4, 2012, to a term that expires in September 2018. Prior to joining the Commission, she was a partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, where she headed the firm’s FTC practice focusing on privacy, data protection, and cyber-security matters.

Ohlhausen previously served at the FTC for 11 years, most recently as director of the Office of Policy Planning from 2004 to 2008, where she led the FTC's Internet Access Task Force. From 1998 to 2001, Ohlhausen was an attorney advisor for former FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle, advising him on competition and consumer protection matters. She started at the FTC General Counsel’s Office in 1997.

Prior to serving at the FTC, Ohlhausen spent five years at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, serving as a law clerk for Judge David Sentelle and as a staff attorney. She also clerked for Judge Robert Yock of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims from 1991 to 1992.

Following the departure of Chairman Timothy Massad earlier this month, J. Christopher Giancarlo was designated as acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Jan. 20.

Giancarlo joined the CFTC on June 16, 2014 after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.