Report: Obama to name Edith Ramirez to be next FTC chairman

President Obama will promote Edith Ramirez to the top spot of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to a report Thursday.

Ramirez has been an FTC commissioner since April 2010, and was a lawyer before joining the agency.

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The agency has a central role in enforcing competition laws and protecting consumers.

The previous FTC chairman, Jon Leibowitz, announced last month he would be stepping down. Leibowitz had served on the commission since 2004 and had been named chairman in 2009.

Under his tenure, Leibowitz had made online privacy one of his key priorities, settling charges with Facebook and Google for failing to follow their own privacy policies.

He also expanded regulations to protect the online privacy of children and closed an antitrust investigation into Google’s search practices.

Julie Brill, another Democratic FTC commissioner, was also believed to be in the running for the position.

By tapping a current commissioner, Obama is able to skip the Senate confirmation process, as siting commissioners have already been confirmed by the upper chamber.

The president, though, will need to pick a new commissioner to fill the spot left by Ramirez as she moves to the chairman post.