The Federal Trade Commission announced today that James A. Kohm, Director of the Enforcement Division in the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Markus H. Meier, Director of the Health Care Division in the Bureau of Competition, have received Fiscal Year 2018 Presidential Rank Awards.
“The FTC, and American consumers, benefit immeasurably from talented leaders like Jim and Markus,” said Chairman Joseph J. Simons. “Their lasting contributions have strengthened the agency’s ability to protect consumers and promote competition, and we are immensely grateful for their service.”
James A. Kohm led the design and implementation of the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s modern order enforcement program, which has secured dozens of contempt findings and judgments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Among them is the FTC’s largest contempt award – $100 million against Lifelock. Under Director Kohm’s guidance, the Enforcement Division also implemented the Green Guides, one of the agency’s largest rulemaking accomplishments, and the Energy Guide Label, which utilizes innovative consumer research to easily convey pertinent information to consumers. He also directed the massively complex multiparty litigation in the Volkswagen case, regarding false advertising of low emissions levels, and obtained the largest judgment in the FTC’s history – $11.2 billion.
Director Kohm also developed the Criminal Liaison Unit Award and Shield Award, which reward prosecutors and criminal investigators who demonstrate outstanding commitment to American consumers. He spearheaded a collections program, which has collected tens of millions of dollars from recalcitrant defendants, and a bankruptcy program, which has protected more than $1 billion in FTC consumer judgments through filing and litigating actions under the Bankruptcy Code’s fraud exception.
Markus H. Meier, as Director of the Health Care Division of the agency’s Bureau of Competition, has led the FTC’s longstanding efforts to stop anticompetitive agreements between brand and generic pharmaceutical companies. Under his direction, the agency won a landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court, FTC v. Actavis, securing a $1.2 billion settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its Cephalon division, in a long-running antitrust case involving the blockbuster narcolepsy treatment Provigil.
Director Meier also served as Acting Deputy Director and Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition between 2015 and 2017. During that period, the agency achieved an unprecedented number of litigation victories in federal court, which included blocking anticompetitive mergers in FTC v. Staples & Office Depot, FTC v. Sysco, FTC v. Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and FTC v. Advocate Health Care Network. In 2015, Director Meier was awarded the FTC Chairman’s Award, the Commission’s highest honor.
The Presidential Rank Award is among the highest honors awarded to a select group of the Senior Executive Service, who serve in key positions between top presidential appointees and the rest of the federal workforce. Each year, the President presents the award to those who have distinguished themselves by achieving a sustained record of exceptional results and consistently demonstrating strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.
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