Ester Peterson, consumer affairs adviser in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, is expected to be appointed to a similar job at the White House next week.
Peterson, who is currently vice president for consumer affairs of the Washington-based Giant Food Stores, will become special assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs "basically ao help get a Consumer Protection Agency CPA) bill through Congress," presidential assistant Hamilton Jordan said yesterday.
Such as agency would act as an ombudsman, intervening on behalf of consumer interests in regulatory agecny proceedings.
Last year a CPA bill passed both houses of Congress, but President Ford promised to veto it if it ever reached his desk. Those who supported it did not believe there were enough votes to override the veto.
During the presidential cmapaign Carter promised to make such a bill one of the priorities of his administration:
Jordan said the President selected Peterosn, who is 70, because of "her marvelous political skills, her legislative experience and national reputation in consumer matters."
After the agency is established, Jordan said, Peterson would be asked to "help formulate plans for it and make suggestions for appointments to it along with suggestions for appointments to regulatory commissions. She would also be asked to work on other consumer matters," he said.
What Peterson's other duties might be and the lengh of time she would be in office are unclear. The job of special assistant for consumer affairs is expected to be phased out after the Consumer Protection Agency is in operation, Jordan said.
Peterson said in a telephone interview yesterday that she would not want to be head of the CPA.
During the Johnson administration she was simultenously an assistant secretary of labor and the first presidential consumer adviser. She was fired from the latter job because of heavy pressure from the business community to get rid of her.
Before she was appointed by Kennedy in 1961 as assistant secretary of labor, she was a lobbyist for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, a job which she returned at the end of the Johnson administration. She joined Giant in 1970.