Washington, DC - Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez has appointed Professor Marina Lao as Director of the agency’s Office of Policy Planning, succeeding Professor Andrew I. Gavil, who is returning to Howard University School of Law.

“I am very pleased to welcome Professor Lao to our leadership team, where her depth of knowledge in the areas of competition and intellectual property law will help the Federal Trade Commission continue to effectively promote competition and protect American consumers,” Ramirez said. “We are very grateful to Professor Gavil for his outstanding work and public service.”

Professor Lao, who will join the FTC in February, teaches at Seton Hall University School of Law, where her focus is antitrust enforcement. A member of the advisory board of the American Antitrust Institute who has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of antitrust law and policy, she also served as Chair of the Antitrust and Economic Regulation section of the Association of American Law Schools.

In 2007, Professor Lao received a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law in Munich, where she taught U.S. Antitrust Law. Formerly a partner at Wilson, Cobb, Lichtenstein & Lao in Atlanta, Professor Lao began her legal career with the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, as an Honors Program trial attorney. She earned a Master of Law degree from Temple University School of Law, a law degree from Albany Law School, and a bachelor degree from Stony Brook University.

The Office of Policy Planning helps the Commission develop and implement long-range competition and consumer protection policy initiatives and advises staff on cases raising new or complex policy and legal issues.