Anvay Tewari

President Donald Trump on Monday nominated Rebecca Slaughter ’03 LAW ’08, chief counsel to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to the Federal Trade Commission. If confirmed by the Senate, Slaughter will join a growing number of Yale graduates in the highest ranks of the Trump administration.

Slaughter will join Rohit Chopra, a former official at the Consumer Financial Protection Board, as the second Democratic commissioner on the FTC and will serve the rest of a seven-year term, ending in 2022. Schumer recommended his top aide to the FTC commissioner position last January.

“Rebecca Kelly Slaughter will make an excellent FTC commissioner and I’m proud to have recommended her to the White House,” Schumer said in a statement.

The FTC — which works with the Department of Justice to enforce antitrust law — has five commissioners, but only three are allowed to come from one political party. The four other commissioners nominated by Trump have already had confirmation hearings and have been approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, but not the full Senate as yet. If Slaughter is approved, the FTC will have a 3–2 Republican majority.

After graduating from Yale Law School, Slaughter worked as a legal adviser to Schumer focusing on issues such as competition, telecommunications policy and consumer protection.

“Throughout her time in public service she has worked tirelessly and effectively,” Schumer said in the statement. “I’m confident that following her confirmation, those qualities will make her a tremendous addition to the Commission.”

Slaughter’s areas of specialty are in line with the FTC’s focus on regulating the practices of internet service providers — particularly in an era without net neutrality rules — and examining companies such as Facebook for potential privacy violations.

In a recent email to the News, Associate Vice President for Federal and State Relations Richard Jacob, the University’s top lobbyist, said that having Yale graduates in government positions can help boost the lobbying process.

“We meet or speak to government officials at the federal, state and local level involved with issues that affect the University and our community, whether a Yale graduate or not, to educate them on what we believe is best,” Jacob said. “It is fair to assume that Yale graduates may understand those issues more easily from their familiarity with the University.”

If all five commissioners are confirmed, the FTC will operate at full capacity for the first time since Trump took office.

Chloe Glass |