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Monday July 05, 2021

Biden Revives Trend of Nominating CPSC Staffers

President Joe Biden July 2 sent two CPSC nominations to the Senate, including one for chairman. Mary Boyle currently is a CPSC staffer while Alexander Hoehn-Saric is a House staffer. Hoehn-Saric would become chairman. If the two Democrats are confirmed, the party would have a 3-2 majority although a third Democrat would need confirmation over the next year to retain that advantage.


Boyle would be the fourth serving or former agency staffer tapped for the commission in recent years. Others were Robert Adler, Elliot Kaye, and Joe Mohorovic. Meanwhile, Hoehn-Saric would be the second serving Hill staffer with CPSC-related experience to get a nod. Peter Feldman came from the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee.


Adler and Kaye both are serving terms that end soon. Kaye's ended last November, but he is still at CPSC under the CPSA allowance for holdover years meant to minimize vacancies. Adler's ends this coming November, and he has said he will not seek renomination so will leave. Kaye last year (PSL, 11/2/20) expressed his intent to stay during his holdover year but told PSL that additional plans – such as accepting renomination – were complicated by health demands.

  • Boyle currently is CPSC Executive Director. She joined the agency in 2010 and served in the General Counsel's office, including as its deputy and acting head. She holds a 1985 BA from Georgetown and a 1991 JD from the University of Maryland. Prior work included private law practice, serving as a Hill staffer, and directing affordable housing for Gaithersburg, Md. She lives in Bethesda, Md. Her husband is Washington Post columnist, E.J. Dionne. They have three adult children.

  • Hoehn-Saric currently is Chief Counsel for Communications and Consumer Protection on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He holds a 1991 BA from the University of Chicago and a 1995 JD from UCLA. Prior work included government affairs duties for Charter Communications, stints at the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Commerce, and service as a Senate Commerce staffer. He and his wife Loren also live in Bethesda and have two children.

Commissioner slots are staggered and run for seven years regardless of being filled. This is the current makeup of the commission (holdover years in parentheses):

  • Elliot Kaye (D) 2020 (2021)
  • Robert Adler (D) 2021 (2022)
  • Dana Baiocco (R) 2024 (2025)
  • Vacant 2025 (2026)
  • Peter Feldman (R) 2026 (2027)