WASHINGTON, D.C. – Robert (Bob) Adler became Acting Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on December 1, 2013. Mr. Adler, who has served as a Commissioner at CPSC since 2009, said, “I have worked at or been connected with this great safety agency for nearly 40 years. I am passionate about our mission, our staff, and those whom we serve every day, and I am honored to lead CPSC in this new role.”
Acting Chairman Adler added, “It is a privilege to serve alongside Commissioners Marietta Robinson and Ann Marie Buerkle. I look forward to continuing the good work of the agency with their help.”
“I join with countless families across the country in thanking former Chairman Inez Tenenbaum for her positive energy and tireless work helping to turn CPSC into a global leader in product safety, leading the agency as we created SaferProducts.gov, and always being a champion for increased safety for children,” said Acting Chairman Adler. “I will miss her and wish her all the best as she begins this new chapter in her distinguished career."
Adler announced that four employees will assume key roles in his office: Jason K. Levine will assume the role of Chief of Staff, Jana Fong-Swamidoss will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff, Anupama Connor will serve as Senior Counsel, and Ophelia McCardell will be Executive Assistant to the Acting Chairman. Elliot Kaye will continue to serve as Executive Director, Stephanie Tsacoumis as General Counsel, Christopher Day as Director of the Office Legislative Affairs, and Scott Wolfson as Communications Director.
“CPSC will have dedicated public servants at the helm in these important offices," Acting Chairman Adler said. "During this period of transition the American public should know CPSC will continue operations as usual at the ports, in the field, at our laboratory, and with all of our partners in safety. The Commissioners and I will carry on our mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with consumer products using every means at our disposal."
Adler was appointed to the agency as a Commissioner by President Barack Obama in August 2009. His term runs through October 2014. Prior to his appointment, he served on the Obama Transition Team and co-authored a report on the CPSC for the Obama administration.
Prior to assuming office, Adler served as a professor of Legal Studies at the University of North Carolina as the Luther Hodges Jr., Scholar in Ethics and Law at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. At the University of North Carolina, he served as the Associate Dean of the MBA Program and as Associate Dean for the School’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Program. As a professor, he taught courses in business law, business ethics, business-government relations and negotiation. Adler's academic research interests included product safety, product liability, regulation, commercial law, medical malpractice, and negotiation.
Prior to his service at UNC, he spent nine years as an attorney-advisor to two commissioners at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, he served as counsel to the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives. While on the subcommittee, he worked on legislation relating to product liability, childhood vaccines, the Food and Drug Administration, medical malpractice, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Before his service at the CPSC, Adler served as a deputy attorney general for the Pennsylvania Justice Department, where he headed the southwest regional office of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Adler has been involved in numerous consumer protection and education activities for many years. He was elected six times to the board of directors of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.