Rohit Chopra

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Rohit Chopra
Rohit Chopra FTC Portrait (cropped).jpg
Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Nominee
Assuming office
TBD
PresidentJoe Biden
SucceedingKathy Kraninger
Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission
Assumed office
May 2, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded byJoshua D. Wright
Succeeded byAlvaro Bedoya (designate)
Personal details
Born (1982-01-30) January 30, 1982 (age 39)
Plainfield, New Jersey
Political partyDemocratic
EducationHarvard University (BA)
University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Signature

Rohit Chopra (born January 30, 1982) is an American consumer advocate who currently serves as a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Prior to this, Chopra served as Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency tasked with consumer protection in the financial sector. Chopra also served within the CFPB as the agency's first Student Loan Ombudsman, an office created by the Dodd–Frank Act.[1]

In 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Chopra to fill the open Democratic seat on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).[2] Chopra was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate,[3] and was sworn in on May 2, 2018.[4] As a member of the FTC, Chopra has supported agency efforts to scrutinize the practices of "Big Tech" companies such as Google and Facebook.[5]

Considered an ally of Senator Elizabeth Warren,[6] who he previously served under at the CFPB, Chopra favors stronger oversight of banks and other financial institutions.[7] In 2021, he was chosen by President Joe Biden serve as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.[8][9] Chopra is closely associated with efforts to reform the system of student loans in the United States.[10][11]

Education and early career[edit]

Chopra was born January 30, 1982 to an Indian-American family in Plainfield, New Jersey.[12][13] Chopra graduated from Harvard University in 2004, where he received his bachelor's degree (B.A.) and served as president of the student body. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chopra was known by Harvard students for his "hard-charging style" with a "reputation for being a fierce advocate not afraid to clash with faculty interests."[14]

After graduating from Harvard, Chopra attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree in 2009.[12] Chopra was a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea.[15] Before entering government, he worked at McKinsey & Company, a global management consultancy firm.[16]

Government career[edit]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)[edit]

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank"), Chopra worked on the implementation team that resulted in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). At the CFPB, Chopra served as the agency's Student Loan Ombudsman and as the agency's assistant director.[17] During his tenure, the agency sued for-profit colleges Corinthian Colleges[18] and ITT Educational Services,[19] both of which dissolved.

Chopra is a vocal critic of the mounting levels of student loan debt in the United States.[20] In 2012, he released analysis revealing that outstanding student debt exceeded $1 trillion.[21] Chopra co-authored a report with Holly Petraeus that uncovered a student loan overcharging scheme impacting members of the military.[22] Chopra explained his focus on student loan policy to the Wall Street Journal, stating:

"In my job, every day I get calls, emails, letters from people who are drowning in debt. I hear the panic in their voices as they worry about their financial future. They aren’t numbers on a spreadsheet. I want to help make things better for them."[14]

Post-CFPB career[edit]

In 2016, Chopra joined the Department of Education as a Senior Advisor, where he worked under Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell.[23] Later in 2016, Chopra was named by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as a member of her prepared presidential transition team, though her candidacy was ultimately unsuccessful.[24]

Chopra later became a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a consumer advocacy group.[25] In 2017, Chopra released a report showing that over 1 million Americans defaulted on a student loan in 2016.[26][27]

Chopra discussing the impact of student debt at a field hearing in Miami, Florida in 2013

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)[edit]

In 2017, Chopra was recommended by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to fill the open Democratic seat on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).[28] Chopra was formally nominated to the position by President Donald Trump,[2] and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2018. Chopra officially took office on May 2, 2018.[4] Upon taking office, Chopra became the second Asian-American to serve on the FTC, after Dennis Yao, who served from 1991 to 1994.[29]

During his time on the FTC, Chopra has supported efforts to scrutinize the business practices of "Big Tech" companies such as Google and Facebook.[5] In 2020, Chopra opposed the FTC's $170 million child privacy settlement with Google, arguing that the company was not sufficiently reprimanded for its actions. Chopra had previously opposed the agency's $5 billion settlement with Facebook following a probe of the company's data practices on similar grounds, believing it was an insufficient penalty.[30]

Chopra has stated that the federal government should "investigate how technology platforms may be a threat to our civil rights and the goals of fairness we seek in our society.”[31] In 2020, Chopra co-authored a paper with Lina Khan, his former legal advisor,[32] in the University of Chicago Law Review titled "The Case for “Unfair Methods of Competition” Rulemaking".[33]

CFPB Director nomination[edit]

During the 2020 presidential election, Chopra was mentioned as a possible candidate for a Cabinet position in a Biden Administration. Chopra was mentioned as a contender for the position of Secretary of Commerce by Politico[34] and the New York Times,[35] but was ultimately choice to serve as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).[9] Alvaro Bedoya, the Director of the Center on Privacy and Technology, has since been nominated to replace Chopra on the FTC.[36]

Chopra's nomination was praised by Senator Elizabeth Warren, who stated through her Twitter account that "I worked closely with Rohit [Chopra] to set up the CFPB and fight for America's students. It’s terrific that President-elect Biden picked Rohit to run the [CFPB]."[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rohit Chopra · Consumer Federation of America". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". whitehouse.gov – via National Archives.
  3. ^ "Senate Cloakroom on Twitter". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "FTC Fully Stocked As 3 More Commissioners Are Sworn In". Law360.com. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Reardon, Marguerite. "FTC Democrat says agency should get more aggressive with big tech". CNET. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  6. ^ Restuccia, Andrew Ackerman and Andrew (January 18, 2021). "Biden to Pick Rohit Chopra to Lead Consumer-Finance Agency". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  7. ^ Lazarus, David (May 21, 2021). "Column: Biden, unlike Trump, thinks businesses shouldn't be free to abuse consumers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "Biden taps Warren ally Chopra to lead Consumer Bureau". POLITICO. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Biden to Pick Rohit Chopra to Lead Consumer-Finance Agency". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  10. ^ Lieber, Ron (January 20, 2017). "6 Tips for Avoiding the Worst Student Loan Repayment Traps". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  11. ^ {{Cite web|date=September 18, 2019|title=COMMENT OF FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSIONER ROHIT CHOPRA|url=https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1544795/chopra_-_comment_submission_on_cfpb_proposed_debt_collection_rule_9-18-19.pdf%7Curl-status=live%7Cwebsite=Federal Trade Commission
  12. ^ a b "S.Hrg. 115-761 — NOMINATIONS TO THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION". www.congress.gov. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  13. ^ "Indian American Rohit Chopra nominated as head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau". The Economic Times. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Zibel, AnnaMaria Andriotis and Alan (December 4, 2014). "CFPB Official Speaks Loudly on Student Loans". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  15. ^ "Schumer Recommends Consumer Advocate Rohit Chopra to the President to Serve as FTC Commissioner – Says Chopra is Eminently Qualified and has Been Putting Interests of Consumers First His Entire Career | Senate Democratic Leadership". www.democrats.senate.gov. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "Rohit Chopra". Federal Trade Commission. April 30, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  17. ^ "President-elect Biden nominates Rohit Chopra to serve as CFPB Director". Consumer Finance Monitor. January 18, 2021. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  18. ^ "Special announcement for Corinthian students - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "CFPB Sues For-Profit College Chain ITT For Predatory Lending - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Andriotis, AnnaMaria; Zibel, Alan (December 4, 2014). "CFPB Official Speaks Loudly on Student Loans". Wall Street Journal.
  21. ^ Mitchell, Josh; Jackson-Randall, Maya (March 22, 2012). "Student-Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion". Wall Street Journal.
  22. ^ https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201210_cfpb_servicemember-student-loan-servicing.pdf
  23. ^ Halperin, David (January 13, 2016). "Rohit Chopra Joins Department of Education". HuffPost. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  24. ^ Hefling, Kimberly; Stratford, Michael. "Clinton names Warren ally to transition team". POLITICO. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  25. ^ "Schumer Recommends Consumer Advocate Rohit Chopra to the President to Serve as FTC Commissioner – Says Chopra is Eminently Qualified and has Been Putting Interests of Consumers First His Entire Career | Senate Democratic Leadership". www.democrats.senate.gov. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  26. ^ Mitchell, Josh (March 14, 2017). "Student-Loan Defaults Rose by 1.1 Million in 2016". Wall Street Journal.
  27. ^ Berman, Jillian. "More than 1 million borrowers defaulted on their student loans last year". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  28. ^ "Schumer Recommends Consumer Advocate Rohit Chopra to the President to Serve as FTC Commissioner – Says Chopra is Eminently Qualified and has Been Putting Interests of Consumers First His Entire Career | Senate Democratic Leadership". www.democrats.senate.gov. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  29. ^ Birnbaum, Emily. "What to watch at Lina Khan's confirmation hearing". POLITICO. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  30. ^ Feiner, Jennifer Elias,Lauren (September 4, 2019). "YouTube will pay $170 million to settle claims it violated child privacy laws". CNBC. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  31. ^ Chopra, Rohit (February 10, 2019). "Prepared Remarks of Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra - Silicon Flatirons Conference" (PDF). Federal Trade Commission.
  32. ^ "President Biden Announces his Intent to Nominate Lina Khan for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission". The White House. March 22, 2021. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  33. ^ Chopra, Rohit; Khan, Lina (2020). "The Case for "Unfair Methods of Competition" Rulemaking". University of Chicago Law Review. 87.
  34. ^ Meyer, Theodoric. "How K Street sees a Biden presidency". POLITICO. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  35. ^ Meyer, Theodoric. "How K Street sees a Biden presidency". POLITICO. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  36. ^ "Biden taps privacy advocate Alvaro Bedoya for FTC". POLITICO. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  37. ^ "@senwarren on Twitter: I worked closely with Rohit @ChopraFTC to set up the CFPB and fight for America's students. It's terrific that President-elect Biden picked Rohit to run the @CFPB. He's been a fearless champion for consumers at the FTC and will be a fearless champion leading the consumer agency". Twitter. January 18, 2021. Retrieved September 10, 2021.

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