After 4 ½ years of transforming the Consumer Product Safety Commission into the global leader in consumer product safety, Chairman Inez M. Tenenbaum has announced that she will be stepping down from her post on November 30. Though the Chairman completed her term at the end of October, she will continue to lead the agency through the end of this month. Starting on December 1, Tenenbaum will join the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where she will work with the Product Safety, Risk Prevention & Regulatory Practice Group on product safety regulatory matters. She will also be practicing at the firm with former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley on education policy. Tenenbaum will be working in Nelson Mullins’ Columbia, S.C. and Washington, D.C. offices.
During Chairman Tenenbaum’s tenure, CPSC restored confidence in the safety of the marketplace and refocused its vision on advancing consumer protection. Through the successful implementation and enforcement of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act; education and enforcement of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act; creation of a Strategic Plan; creation of the Office of Education, Global Outreach, and Small Business Ombudsman; launch of a social media initiative, and more, CPSC has connected with consumers and provided industry with predictability. Chairman Tenenbaum created a culture where CPSC staff play a leading role in identifying and addressing the most pressing consumer product safety priorities and mobilizing action by our partners. By collaborating with key global and domestic stakeholders, CPSC is primed to leverage limited resources to save many lives and prevent many injuries.
Beginning on December 1, Commissioner Robert Adler, the current Vice Chairman, will take over as Acting Chairman of the agency. Commissioner Adler has served on the Commission since August 2009, and previously served for nine years as an attorney-advisor to two commissioners. Commissioner Adler has played a key role in the development of the SaferProducts.gov database and independent, third-party testing of children’s products, and he has spoken frequently about the safety risks posed by all-terrain and recreational off-highway vehicles.
Another recent announcement is the selection of Elliot Kaye as the new Executive Director. Kaye succeeds Kenneth Hinson, who departed from the agency on October 18. Kaye has served in the Office of the Chairman since October 2010, first as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel, and then as Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel. He has played a vital role in advancing the Chairman’s efforts to reduce brain injuries in youth sports, prevent deaths and serious burn injuries to children from the ingestion of coin cell batteries, and combat deaths and injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition to being the Executive Director, Kaye will retain the title of Acting Chief of Staff during the remainder of Chairman Tenenbaum’s tenure.