Robert S. Adler has served as a Commissioner at the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) since August 18, 2009. He was renominated by President Obama on May 14, 2014 and confirmed by the Senate on December 2, 2014. His term runs through October 2021. He also served as Acting Chair of the agency from October 2019 to October 2021.
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. Bob won a university-wide teaching award, the Tanner Award, in 1996 and the undergraduate program's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1990. In 2004, he received the Gerald Barrett Faculty Award for outstanding teaching and service to the MBA Program.
Bob's academic research interests included product safety, product liability, regulation, commercial law, medical malpractice, and negotiation. His article, When David Meets Goliath: Dealing With Power Differentials in Negotiation, in the Spring 2000 issue of the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (co-authored with Elliot Silverstein) received the annual best article award by the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution.
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, Bob 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.
Bob 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.
Bob graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966 with a major in political science. He received a JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1969.