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WASHINGTON — Federal Trade Commission member William E. Kovacic, formerly a professor of government contracts law, will step up as the agency’s new chair when the resignation of current chair, Deborah Platt Majoras, is effective March 30. President Bush announced Wednesday that he has designated Kovacic as the new chair. The former George Washington University School of Law professor left his teaching position to join the federal agency as a commissioner in January 2006. He was the FTC’s general counsel from 2001 through the end of 2004. Kovacic earlier worked at the commission from 1979 to 1983, first with the Bureau of Competition’s Planning Office and later as an attorney advisor to former Commissioner George W. Douglas. After leaving the FTC in 1983, Kovacic was an associate with the Washington, D.C., office of St. Louis’ Bryan Cave, where he practiced in the firm’s antitrust and government contracts departments, until joining the George Mason University School of Law in 1986. Earlier in his career, he also spent a year on the majority staff of the subcommittee on antitrust and monopoly of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Since 1992, Kovacic has served as an adviser on antitrust and consumer protection issues to the governments of Armenia, Benin, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Panama, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. He also has authored or coauthored books and articles on antitrust law, including Antitrust Law and Economics in a Nutshell and Antitrust Law in Perspective: Cases, Concepts, and Problems in Competition Policy. “Bill will be a terrific chairman,” said outgoing chair Majoras. “Having served in several capacities at the agency — most recently commissioner and, previously, general counsel — he brings deep institutional knowledge, long-standing dedication to the mission, and great respect for staff. Bill is a free market champion and a highly regarded advisor to emerging competition authorities around the globe.” Kovacic graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1974, and received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1978.

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