Obama nominates tech policy lawyer to FTC

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Maureen Ohlhausen to the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday, a sign of the agency's increasing focus on technology policy issues.

Ohlhausen is currently an attorney at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, where she is a partner in the firm’s privacy, data protection and cybersecurity practice. She previously worked at the Business Software Alliance as technology policy counsel from January to November 2009.

Should she be confirmed in the near future, Ohlhausen's tech expertise could come into play during the FTC's recently announced antitrust investigation into Google. Competitors argue Google uses its search results to promote its own services; the search giant says it strives to provide the best possible results.

From 1997 to 2008, Ohlhausen worked at the FTC in a number of leadership roles, including as director of the Office of Policy Planning and earlier as an attorney adviser for Commissioner Orson Swindle.

Ohlhausen has also clerked at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. She is a senior editor of the American Bar Association's Antitrust Law Journal and has taught privacy law and unfair trade practices as an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law.

Ohlhausen graduated from the University of Virginia in 1984 and earned a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law in 1991.