Once the newly formed Consumer Product Safety Commission opened its doors in 1973, there was an immediate need for distinguished leadership, passion, and experience at the agency. Mrs. Constance B. Newman was a perfect fit for the job. She and David Pittle, Barbara Hackman Franklin, Lawrence M. Kushner, and Richard O. Simpson, were the “starting five” Commissioners.
Newman served as a Commissioner and Vice Chairman from 1973 through 1976. She is best known by her former colleagues as a passionate woman who focused on a broad range of product safety issues and took seriously her leadership role in a new and emerging agency.
Before her time with CPSC, Mrs. Newman was the Director of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Her extensive experience in developing and managing policies and programs for the federal government, the District of Columbia, and international organizations contributed greatly to serving minority and vulnerable populations, including African Americans and Native Americans.
As an Assistant Director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Newman focused on consumer issues for Native Americans and the elderly. She later co-founded the Newman and Hermanson Company, a consulting firm specializing in government regulatory procedures.
Newman’s time and dedication to consumer safety is remembered and appreciated.
Thank you, Mrs. Constance B. Newman.
This is the second of seven profiles of African Americans who made significant contributions to product safety in the United States.