Before an enthusiastic audience on October 25, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz presented former FTC Commissioner and Chairman William E. Kovacic with the 2011 Miles W. Kirkpatrick Award for Lifetime FTC Achievement. In his remarks, Chairman Leibowitz noted that Professor Kovacic’s dedication and remarkable work “have made the FTC stronger, more nimble, and more effective.”
Professor Kovacic led a long and distinguished career at the FTC, serving as Commissioner from January 2006 to October 2011, and as Chairman from 2008 to 2009. Among other roles, he also was the FTC’s General Counsel from 2001 through 2004. This service, as well as his far-reaching expertise and dedication to sharing his knowledge, make him a sought-after instructor and a valued member of GW Law’s faculty of real-world experts.
“Bill Kovacic is a towering figure in the worlds of trade and competition law and policy, and he is that rare breed: someone who is both respected for his scholarly insights and his ability to translate his ideas into pragmatic solutions that help change the future,” said Dean Paul Schiff Berman. “His return to our faculty immediately catapults GW to international leadership on trade and competition law, and I look forward to building our Competition Law Center into the go-to place in the world for cutting-edge innovation in these areas so crucial to our economic future.”
Professor Kovacic joined the GW Law faculty in 1999. Throughout his career, Professor Kovacic has fostered innovation and solutions to antitrust and consumer protection issues worldwide, applying practical knowledge both to his role at the FTC and his role in the classroom. He has served as an adviser on antitrust and consumer protection issues to the governments of Armenia, Benin, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Panama, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. And since January 2009, he also has served as Vice Chairman for Outreach of the International Competition Network.
Longtime colleague and collaborator Steven L. Schooner, Nash & Cibinic Professor of Government Procurement Law and Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program, says he is honored to work with Professor Kovacic, and that GW Law students are fortunate to learn from a world-renowned expert.
“It’s hard for most people to grasp how much respect and admiration Bill commands around the world for his work with international organizations and developing nations. And it's not just that he’s willing to spend inordinate amounts of time on airplanes, in airports, and in faraway places. Much more importantly, Bill understands the dynamics of law transfer, he recognizes the challenges that developing states face, he realizes that there's a big difference between teaching and preaching, and his sincerity, warmth, and goodwill is infectious,” Professor Schooner said. “He's long been a model for anyone who travels the globe attempting to help states improve governance and, in so doing, enrich the lives of our global community.”
While Professor Kovacic now is eager to return to the classroom, he has no plans of slowing down or working only on campus. “I am thrilled to return to the Law School. The University generously allowed me to work at the FTC for most of the past decade, and I look forward to applying what I have learned as a teacher and a researcher,” Professor Kovacic said.
In particular, Professor Kovacic said he is eager to renew his leadership of GW’s Competition Law Center. “Through the Center, I expect there will be many excellent opportunities to engage our students and faculty and other GW departments in projects that will help improve the quality of competition law and policy at home and abroad.”