Federal Trade Commission
When I joined the FTC, I really wasn’t sure how long I would stay at the agency. After years in academia as a professor of economics, I didn’t know how well the government culture would suit me. Now, I routinely tell people that I can’t imagine a better job.
I initially accepted my job because I was so impressed with the people who work at the FTC. People here are smart, driven, and welcoming. There’s always someone down the hall who can answer my questions, even if it’s just to tell me a better person to ask. There is enormous value in working with good people who genuinely enjoy their work. I look forward to coming into the office, knowing that I will be spending the day surrounded by incredibly bright and genuine people. I continue to learn from my colleagues and look forward to being a resource for new colleagues in the future.
My job as an economist at the FTC is interesting and varied, but also has provided me the opportunity to delve deeply into one particular area. For example, I took the lead on a congressionally mandated report studying accuracy in consumer credit reporting. Using data generated before my arrival, I learned a great deal about the credit reporting industry, analyzed the information, and produced a consumer-friendly final draft for Congress. The report was widely publicized and very well-received. I also appreciate that, as economists, there are a wide variety of issues for us to explore — from analyzing whether a firm has the scientific evidence to back-up advertised claims, to researching the world of big data and its possible impacts on privacy, to identifying and preventing fraudulent business practices.
My FTC job is easy to feel good about and to explain to family and friends. The FTC helps consumers by protecting them from fraud and deceptive/harmful business practices. Every day, I see evidence that my work matters –when I go to the grocery store, listen to ads on the radio or television, or think about borrowing money for a mortgage. I love to point out when a big FTC-related news story breaks; I often share stories on Facebook, and bring up FTC successes in conversations.
During my tenure here, I have also found the Bureau of Economics and the FTC to be family friendly. Family is highly valued by my colleagues and managers. As the mother of a young child, I really appreciate the ability to telework or to coordinate my schedule to accommodate my family obligations.