After more than five months of eager anticipation, the CPSC community finally knows who will be leading the agency, assuming confirmations go as smoothly as expected. President Biden announced on July 2, 2021 that he will nominate Alexander Hoehn-Saric for Chair and a seat on the Commission. Hoehn-Saric is currently Chief Counsel to the House Consumer Protection & Commerce Subcommittee, the arm of the House Energy & Commerce Committee that has oversight of CPSC.
Biden has also nominated Mary Boyle for a seat on the Commission. Boyle has been a longtime CPSC career staffer, currently serving as the agency’s Executive Director after years in the Office of General Counsel that included a term as General Counsel.
Currently, one spot on the five-member body is open as well as the Chairmanship. Current Acting Chair Bob Adler’s term is set to end in October; he can hold over for up to a year if no replacement is confirmed for his seat, although he has expressed a desire to leave the agency when his term ends this year. Commissioner and former Chair Elliot Kaye is already in his holdover year and will leave the agency no later than October unless he is renominated and confirmed. We understand Hoehn-Saric and Boyle will be nominated for the open seat and Commissioner Kaye’s slot, leaving Commissioner Adler to remain as Commissioner while the White House selects a third nominee.
CPSC Commissioners serve for fixed terms regardless of confirmation dates. As a result, whoever takes the open seat would have a term running through 2025, whoever takes Commissioner Kaye’s seat would serve through 2027, and whoever takes Commissioner Adler’s seat would serve through 2028. The two Republican Commissioners, Dana Baiocco and Peter Feldman, have terms that run to 2024 and 2026, respectively. CPSC is allowed no more than three Commissioners from the same political party. With two Republicans already serving and a remaining seat to fill, President Biden has an opportunity to add another Democrat to round out a full complement of Commissioners.