Joshua Wright was sworn in Friday as the Federal Trade Commission’s newest commissioner. Wright, a Republican, was joined by his wife Anhvinh Wright at the Friday ceremony to start his term, which lasts through September 2019.
He replaces fellow Republican J. Thomas Rosch, who announced last January that he would not seek another term. Rosch’s term expired in September; he had served on the commission since 2006.
Wright joins the commission from George Mason University, where he taught law. He had also served as a visiting scholar at the FTC, in its competition bureau. In past writings, Wright has been critical of the agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, leading to some pointed questions from Democrats during his confirmation hearing in December — particularly from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) who quoted Wright’s criticism of the FTC’s past actions on antitrust cases.
Democrats also raised concerns about Wright’s ties to Google, which indirectly funded some of his research, along with other members of the technology industry.
At his hearing, Wright said that he will recuse himself from Google-related probes at the FTC for two years to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.