Consumer Product Matters A product safety and consumer related regulation and litigation blog

Former CPSC Chief of Staff Nominated for Republican Commissioner Vacancy at CPSC

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), U.S. Congress

Yesterday President Obama announced his intent to nominate Joseph P. Mohorovic as a Commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If confirmed by the Senate, he would succeed former Republican Commissioner Nancy Nord whose term expired at the end of October.

Mohorovic is familiar with the world of consumer product safety, having served as former Chairman Hal Stratton’s Chief of Staff and in other senior-level positions at the CPSC from 2002-2006. After CPSC, he joined Intertek in Chicago. Like many other companies that provide third party testing services, Intertek has been more active in the consumer products space since the passage of the CPSIA.

The announcement of just one new Commissioner comes as somewhat of a surprise because many in the consumer product safety community, ourselves included, believed the new Republican Commissioner would be nominated at the same time as the new Democratic Chairman. Although the White House made this announcement separately, the prevailing sentiment remains that Senate confirmation will hinge on the existence of a paired Democratic nominee for Chairman.

The nomination signals the intent of the White House to restore the Commission to a full five member panel with a new Chairman. While the nomination could also indicate that an announcement of the new Democratic Chairman nominee is imminent, there is no outward indication of when the administration will make an announcement. Even if the new Chairman is nominated soon, it is unlikely that the necessary Senate hearings and confirmation votes could be scheduled before the end of the year — meaning current Vice-Chairman Bob Adler likely will serve as the Acting Chairman for at least a few months after Chairman Tenenbaum departs on November 30th.

Below is more information from the White House Press Release:

Joseph P. Mohorovic is Senior Vice President of Strategic Management of Intertek’s North America Consumer Goods division, a position he has held since 2007.  From 2002 to 2006, he worked for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, first as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Chairman, and then as Chief of Staff and Director in the Office of International Programs and Intergovernmental Affairs.  From 1999 to 2002, he served in the New Mexico State Legislature.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Mohorovic was Chief of Staff in the New Mexico Senate, Finance Director for Governor Gary Johnson’s re-election campaign, and a staff member of the Republican Party of New Mexico.  Mr. Mohorovic received a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. from the Robert O. Anderson School of Business Management at the University of New Mexico.