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Monday January 11, 2021

Mullan and Hudgins to Exit CPSC; Sultan and McGarvey to Take Slots

Gib Mullan, CPSC general counsel, and Chris Hudgins, the agency's legislative affairs director, will be leaving. Taking over, respectively, will be Jenifer Sultan, now deputy director in Compliance and Field Operations, and Carla McGarvey, who leaves her post as deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.). Sultan will serve in an acting capacity. McGarvey arrives January 18.


Sultan has been at CPSC since 2019. Before that, starting in 2017, she was with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at Homeland Security. From 2002 to 2017, she worked at the Justice Department as a trial attorney until 2009 and then as a supervisory attorney thereafter. She was in the now-named Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.


Before joining the government, she was with Fulbright & Jaworski in New York starting in 1999. Her law degree is from Northwestern, and she holds a BA from Cornell.


In a January 8 email to agency staff announcing the changes, Acting Chairman Bob Adler told them, "Jen brings a wealth of management experience to this position and a keen mind that should quickly master the nuances of the laws and regulations we administer."


McGarvey joined Shalala's office in 2019. Previously, she was deputy legislative director (2015-2019) for former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), including a stint in November 2015 as the director. Before that, she was his tax counsel (2013-2015). Earlier, she was senior counsel and legislative assistant (2010-2013) for Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and legislative and research assistant (2009-2010) for former Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).


Before congressional service, she worked with the Obama campaign in 2008 and as an associate attorney (2007-2008) at O'Donnell, Schwartz & Anderson in Washington, D.C. She has a law degree from Ohio State and BA from Oberlin.


Adler's email included, "Carla McGarvey…comes with extensive Hill experience and contacts both in the Senate and the House."


Mullan served twice with CPSC, the first time as general counsel in 2004 and then Compliance chief in 2004-2010, including overseeing development of the import surveillance division in 2007. He also shepherded implementation of compliance changes in the 2008 CPSIA and was a leader in CPSC's outreach to China regarding safe imports.


He remained employed by the agency in 2010-2011 but was detailed to Customs and Border Protection to help develop its multi-agency imports safety program.


After a three-year stint as majority chief counsel of the House Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade subcommittee, he returned to CPSC in 2014 as chief counsel to Commissioner Anne Marie Buerkle, including through her acting chairmanship, to 2019. He then put off retirement to serve, again, as CPSC general counsel. He is retiring now.


He previously was a partner with Kirkland & Ellis, and he is a Navy veteran. He holds a law degree from the University of Virginia, and his undergraduate studies were at the University of Pennsylvania.


Adler wrote in the email, "Gib has been an incredibly valuable agency resource. He combines brilliance with an exhaustive knowledge of CPSC’s laws and regulations. In addition, he has brought a strong sense of integrity and great wit to the job."


Hudgins came to CPSC at the start of 2018 to be legislative director, a job he retained after the transition between Buerkle and Adler. He came with product safety and related experience from his roles as VP industry and external affairs for the Mattress Recycling Council (2013-2017), VP government relations and policy at the International Sleep Products Association (2008-2013), and manager of government relations for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (2006 to 2008).


He previously worked at the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. He holds a BA from the University of Richmond.


Adler told staff, "Chris has been a smart, thoughtful, and steady hand throughout his time at CPSC. I particularly admire his diligence and wisdom in providing ongoing updates on developments on the Hill. I believe OLA Director is one of the most challenging jobs at the agency, and Chris has performed in exemplary fashion."


Adler asked Mullan to become GC and Hudgins to stay in a gesture towards continuity after Buerkle's departure.


Hudgins had this to say:

"I am grateful to Chairman Buerkle for appointing me to this position and to Bob Adler for allowing me to serve during his tenure. I consider them friends along with the dedicated staff I had the pleasure of serving with every day. I also thank Commissioners Kaye, Baiocco and Feldman for allowing me to serve them over the last three years. As I explore future opportunities I hope to continue to be involved in keeping Americans safe."