William Kovacic

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William Kovacic
William E. Kovacic (cropped).jpg
Kovacic in 2018
Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission
In office
March 30, 2008 – March 2, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byDeborah Platt Majoras
Succeeded byJon Leibowitz
Member of the Federal Trade Commission
In office
January 4, 2006 – October 3, 2011
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byOrson Swindle
Succeeded byMaureen Ohlhausen
Personal details
Born1952 (age 70–71)
Political partyRepublican
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Columbia University (JD)

William Evan Kovacic (born 1952) is an American legal scholar who served as a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from 2006 to 2011, including as its chairman from 2008 to 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party.[1]

Kovacic is currently a professor at George Washington University Law School, where he serves as director of their Competition Law Center.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Kovacic's father was a chemical engineer who worked for the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. Kovacic graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1970. He then attended Princeton University, graduating in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in public and international affairs.

After college, Kovacic spent one year on the staff of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly.[3] He then attended Columbia Law School, graduating in 1978 with a Juris Doctor degree as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.[4]


From 1979 to 1983, Kovacic served as a staffer within the FTC, first within the Bureau of Competition's Planning Office and later as an attorney and advisor to then-Commissioner George W. Douglas. After leaving the FTC in 1983, Kovacic became an associate at the Washington, D.C., office of international law firm Bryan Cave. At Bryan Cave, Kovacic practiced in the firm's antitrust and government contracts departments.

In 1986, Kovacic joined the faculty of the George Mason University Law School (now Antonin Scalia Law School), where he taught antitrust law.[5] In 1999, Kovacic became E.K. Gubin Professor of Government Contracts Law at George Washington University (GWU) Law School. In 2001, Kovacic rejoined the FTC's staff as the agency's general counsel, serving until 2004.

In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Kovacic to replace Orson Swindle as a member of the FTC.[6] On March 30, 2008, Kovacic was designated by Bush to serve as FTC Chair,[7] replacing Deborah Platt Majoras.[8] Following the election of Democrat Barack Obama, he was replaced in this capacity after less than a year in office. On March 2, 2009, Democrat Jon Leibowitz replaced him as FTC Chair.

Following his term at the FTC, Kovacic returned to the GWU Law School where he teaches antitrust, contracts, and government contracts. Kovacic currently serves as the Director of the Competition Law Center at GWU Law School.[2]

International advising[edit]

Since 1992, Kovacic has served as an adviser on antitrust and consumer protection issues to the governments of Armenia, Benin, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Panama, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Kovacic also serves on the International Committee of the Institute of Competition Law.

Kovacic was appointed as a Non-Executive Director to the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on July 15, 2013.[9] Kovacic is also a visiting professor at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King's College, London.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Kovacic lives in Virginia, with his wife Kathryn Fenton, an antitrust attorney.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zakrzewski, Cat (August 19, 2021). "Lina Khan's first big test as FTC chief: Defining Facebook as a monopoly". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  2. ^ a b "William E. Kovacic". George Washington University Law.
  3. ^ "Nominations of J. Thomas Rosch and William E. Kovacic to be Commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission" (PDF). Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, United States Senate. US Government Printing Office. 2005-11-14. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  4. ^ "KATHRYN FENTON WEDS WILLIAM EVAN KOVACI". The New York Times. 1985-05-19. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  5. ^ Rowley, James; Runningen, Roger (2008-03-26). "Kovacic Named by Bush to Lead Federal Trade Agency". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  6. ^ "Kovacic and Rosch Confirmed to FTC | Martindale.com". www.martindale.com. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  7. ^ Federal Trade Commission – Commissioners
  8. ^ "White House taps commissioner William Kovacic to chair FTC". The Mercury News. 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  9. ^ "Non-Executive Director William Kovacic". GOV.UK.
  10. ^ "King's College London - Global Competition Law at King's". Centre for Competition Law.

External links[edit]