The TACD Steering Committee are responsible for developing joint strategy and driving forward the network’s advocacy activities.
Monique Goyens (EU Co-Chair)
As Director General of BEUC, Monique represents 43 independent national consumer associations in 31 European countries, acting as a strong consumer voice in Brussels, ensuring that consumer’ interests are given weight in the development of policies and raising the visibility and effectiveness of the consumer movement through lobbying EU institutions and media contacts.
She is a member of the EU High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain. She is also an effective member of the Euro Retail Payments Board and has been appointed in the Advisory Group of the European Commission on the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) and in the Advisory Group of Transparency International EU.
Ed Mierzwinski (US Co-Chair)
Ed Mierzwinski has worked in the Washington, DC-based federal lobbying office of the Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups (U.S. PIRG) since 1989. He often lectures or testifies before Congress, state legislatures and agencies on a wide range of consumer issues, from credit card rates and privacy to product safety, airline passenger rights and federalism (anti-preemption). He has published reports on numerous consumer issues, including Big Data’s impact on financial opportunity, the CFPB Public Consumer Complaint Database, internet privacy, identity theft and credit reporting mistakes. He is co-author of a Model State Data Breach, Security Freeze and Identity Theft Law available on SSRN. He has had recent articles in the American Prospect, the Journal of Consumer Affairs and the Suffolk University Law Review.
He is a 2003 recipient of Privacy International’s “Brandeis Award” for privacy protection efforts and a 2006 recipient of the Consumer Federation of America’s “Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award.”
He is on the board of directors of Consumer Reports (formerly Consumers Union), the world’s largest consumer product testing and advocacy organization. He sits on the board of directors of the Consumer Federation of America. He is on the board of Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) and chairs its Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Task Force. He is a founding and current member of the Steering Committee of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (tacd.org). He is on the board of directors of Flyersrights.org. He is a former member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut (BA, MS) and previously was Executive Director of the Connecticut PIRG.
Benedicte Federspiel has dedicated almost her entire working life to the consumer cause. In 1970 she joined the Danish Consumer Council, and after having been the Executive Director for many years – she now mainly concentrates on legal matters, ministerial committees, standardisation and Nordic, European and international consumer policy work.
Benedicte Federspiel is Danish member of the Social and Economic Committee of the EU and is a member of the European Consumer Consultative Group of the European Commission (ECCG), member of the European Board of the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), and was President – now Treasurer – of the European Organisation for Consumer Representation in Standardisation and Certification (ANEC).
Klaus Müller is the Executive Director of The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V. – vzbv) since May 2014. As the Executive Director of the Consumer Centre of the Federal State North-Rhine Westphalia from 2006 to 2014, he has been involved in consumer politics for more than 10 years.
Before he was Member of the Parliament of the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein from 2005 to 2006 and from 2003 to 2005 he was Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Agriculture in the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein, from 2000 to 2003 Minister of Environment, Nature and Forestry also in the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein. From 1998 to 2000 he was Member of the German Bundestag, Bonn/Berlin.
Born in 1971 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld, Müller studied Economics at Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel.
One of the most knowledgeable and well-respected consumer champions in the country, Jessica Rich joined Consumer Reports in May 2017 as Vice President, Policy & Mobilization. In this role, Jessica leads the organization’s policy and mobilization efforts to address the most urgent threats and pain points that consumers face today, including data privacy and security, healthcare costs, food safety, corporate accountability, and fairness and transparency in financial services.
Jessica brings more than 25 years of experience with the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. From June 2013 to February 2017, she served as the Bureau’s director, overseeing Commission attorneys, investigators, and other staff working to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair practices. During that time, her team initiated more than 400 law enforcement actions aimed at putting a stop to privacy invasions and fraud, resulting in billions of dollars recovered for harmed consumers. Jessica also led the establishment of a new Office of Technology Research and Investigations to improve the agency’s ability to serve consumers around issues including the Internet of Things and mobile apps. Earlier in her career, Jessica was the long-time manager of the FTC’s growing privacy program, and she is widely credited with building the program from a small team to the signature program that it is today. Prior to joining the FTC, she was a lawyer in private practice in New York City.
Jessica earned her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and her J.D. from New York University Law School.
Michiel Karskens is Manager of Public Affairs at Consumentenbond – the Dutch consumers union. He has been a consumer advocate for over 14 years. At Consumentenbond he has previously worked as a policy advisor in the fields of energy, competition, trade, and privacy. Michiel regularly testifies at hearings on consumer issues of the Dutch Parliament. He is a member of the Consumer Affairs Committee of the Dutch Social Economic Council, and representative of the Netherlands in the European Consumer Consultative Group of the European Commission (ECCG).
Until 2014 he served on the international advisory board of Privacy International. Born in 1975 in Gouda, Michiel holds a master’s degree in Political Economy from the University of Amsterdam.
Susan Grant is Director of Consumer Protection at the Consumer Federation of America. She works specifically in the areas of privacy, identity theft, online safety and security, telemarketing, electronic and mobile commerce, deceptive marketing, fraud, and general consumer protection issues. Ms Grant heads CFA’s Consumer Protection Institute, conducts CFA’s annual Consumer Complaint Survey, and is a recognised authority on combating consumer fraud and deception.
She began her career in 1976 in the Consumer Protection Division of the Northwestern Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office and subsequently held positions at the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the National Consumers League before joining the CFA staff in 2008.
Robert Weissman is President of Public Citizen. He is an expert on economic, health care, trade and globalisation, intellectual property and regulatory policy, and issues related to financial accountability and corporate responsibility. Robert has written extensively on corporate accountability, access to medicines, corporate influence over the political process, the World Trade Organization and regulation of the financial markets.
He has been published and quoted in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Economist, and Financial Times.
He has worked to lower pharmacy prices for people living with AIDS in the developing world. Robert earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude. He was director of the corporate accountability organisation Essential Action, as well as Editor of Multinational Monitor, a magazine that tracks corporate actions worldwide, and public interest attorney at the Center for Study of Responsive Law.
Information Society Policy Committee
Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), a Washington D.C. non-profit. CDD is one of the leading NGOs advocating for consumers on digital privacy and consumer protection issues.
Through a series of reports and formal complaints endorsed by many consumer groups on such topics as Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA), mobile marketing, social media and other digital marketing practices, CDD successfully engaged the Federal Trade Commission to begin addressing unfair and deceptive practices arising from online advertising.
Finn Myrstad (EU Co-Chair)
Finn Myrstad is the Head of the Digital Services Section at the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC). The NCC focuses on national and international issues related to net neutrality, data protection, copyright, telecommunication and other issues within the field of digital services.
In 2014, Finn and his team at NCC assessed the terms and conditions of the seven most popular cloud storage services globally, leading to a complaint against Apple iCloud for violating European law by giving itself the right to change its terms of service at any time, without notifying its customers. The terms were subsequently changed in the iOS 8-update.
Finn has previously worked in Brussels as an interest representative and holds an MSc in Politics and Government of the European Union from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Food Policy Committee
Steve Suppan (US Co-Chair)
Steve Suppan is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, where he has worked since 1994. Steve’s current work portfolio includes analysis and advocacy concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Transpacific Partnership (TPP) agreements; commodity derivatives market regulation; food and agricultural applications of nanotechnology; and food safety. Most of his articles, including regulatory comments to U.S. and international agencies, are posted at www.iatp.org. He writes IATP’s Global Food Safety Monitor.
Steve represented Consumers International at meetings of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and Codex committees from 2000 to 2005. He has traveled to 38 countries to explain U.S. agriculture, trade, food safety and agricultural technology policy and regulation. He has represented IATP at meetings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the UN General Assembly, the UN Food and Agriculture Program, the UN Environmental Program and the World Trade Organization. Steve has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota and studied philosophy at the University of Vienna.
Henry Uitslag (EU Co-Chair)
Henry Uitslag has been a Food and Nutrition Campaigner at Consumentenbond since 2006. Henry’s working area covers all aspects of food and nutrition, such as food safety, health- and nutrition claims, labelling, GMO, and animal welfare. Henry is member of the food expert teams of Consumers International and BEUC.
He was formerly a scientific researcher at ATO-DLO research institute and a policy advisor at Productschap Tuinbouw (Product board for Horticulture). Henry Uitslag holds a master’s degree in Food Science and Technology from WageningenAgricultural University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Intellectual Property Policy Committee
James Love (US Co-Chair)
Mr Love is the Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI). He is also the US co-chair of the TACD Intellectual Property Policy Committee, and the chair of the Essential Inventions board of directors. He advises UN agencies, national governments, international and regional intergovernmental organisations and public health NGOs, and is the author of a number of articles and monographs on innovation and intellectual property rights. In 2013, Love received the Electronic Frontiers Found Pioneer Award, to recognise leaders who extend freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology.
KEI was created in 2006 as a separate entity to carry out work earlier done through the Center for Study of Responsive Law and Essential Information. Mr Love was employed by the Center for Study of Responsive Law from 1990 to 2006. Mr Love was previously Senior Economist for the Frank Russell Company, a lecturer at Rutgers University, and a researcher on international finance at Princeton University. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Agustín Reyna (EU Co-Chair)
Agustín is the Chief Competition Advisor for The European Consumer Organisation, BEUC.
BEUC represents 43 independent national consumer associations from 31 European countries. The primary task of BEUC is to act as a strong consumer voice in Brussels and to ensure that consumer interests are given their proper weight in all EU policies.
Within BEUC, Agustín coordinates the organisation’s work on competition law enforcement and policy. He is responsible for providing the consumer viewpoint to the European Commission’s competition directorate in high-profile cases affecting consumer markers.
In 2017 Agustín was elected co-EU chair of the Intellectual Property committee of the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, a network of over 75 organisations representing consumers’ interest in the US and the EU.
Agustín obtained his law degree in the National University of Córdoba, Argentina. He studied ICT law in Spain (ICADE, Comillas Pontifical University) and Belgium (CRIDS, University of Namur). He is a Phd. candidate at the University of Bremen, Germany. He often publishes in scientific journals on issues of consumer law and policy. He holds the Argentinean and Belgian nationalities.
Product Safety and Chemicals Policy Committee
Jaydee Hanson (US Co-Chair)
Jaydee Hanson works as a senior policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety on issues related to nanotechnology, animal cloning and animal genetic engineering. He also works for the Center’s sister agency, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) where he directs their work on human genetics, synthetic biology and nanotechnology. He is a fellow of the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future.
Sylvia Maurer (EU Co-Chair)
Sylvia Maurer is the Senior Policy Officer for Safety and Environment at BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, joining in 2007. Sylvia has worked for the consumer movement for nine years with relevant experience in the area of sustainable consumption and production and on safety issues such as chemicals in products and on nano-materials.
She represents BEUC in Commission working groups and at conferences, seminars and committees such as the General Product Safety Committee, the Consumer Safety Network, the sub-working group on nanomaterials in cosmetic products and the EU Resource Efficiency Platform. She supervises externally funded projects on the implementation of the EU Ecodesign Directive, the EU Ecolabel and sustainable cars. She studied Political Science and European Studies at the Universities of Bonn, Bradford and Berlin.
Financial Services Policy Committee
Ira Rheingold (US Co-Chair)
Ira Rheingold serves as the co-chair of the Financial Services Committee of the TACD. He is Executive Director of the National Associationof Consumer Advocates (NACA), an organisation dedicated to protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices. At NACA, Mr. Rheingold has testified before both Houses of Congress on various mortgage lending and consumer finance issues, offered commentary before federal agencies charged with regulating financial service industries and protecting consumers, and helped draft amicus briefs on issues of great concern to consumers before the nation’s highest courts.
Mr Rheingold also has managed the Institute for Foreclosure Legal Assistance, a joint project of NACA and the Center for Responsible Lending. He has worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago as a supervisory attorney in charge of the Foreclosure Prevention and Senior Housing Projects. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.
Farid Aliyev has been working for BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, since 2008. He is Senior Financial Services Officer and Team Leader. His areas of expertise includes payment services, bank accounts, consumer and mortgage credit, digitalisation, fintech and big data in financial services, financial inclusion, and financial supervision. Farid is vice chair of the European Commission’s Financial Services User Group. He also participates in various EU stakeholder groups in retail banking and payment services.
Anna has been a consumer and privacy advocate for many years, after having trained as a classics scholar and spending a stint as a travel reporter and editor, working for Which?, the UK consumer organisation. She is currently Board Chair Emeritus and senior policy advisor to Privacy International, Board member of European Digital Rights (EDRi) and senior policy advisor to the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), covering all aspects of consumer policy from regulations to digital rights; she also works, when time permits, as an independent policy researcher/advisor for other public interest organisations. She was previously regional Director at Consumers International where she put issues related to online rights and data protection on the consumer organisations’ priority agenda, and set up the TACD back in 1998. Anna is a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA).
Alexandra coordinates the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD). She is responsible for organising the work of the TACD Steering Committee and thematic Policy Committees in developing policy recommendations as consumer input. She further manages key strategic and high-level relationships with a range of stakeholders, including the EU and US governments as well as wider civil society.
Alexandra joins us from the EU Delegation to Moldova where she worked as a project manager covering civil society, gender and cross border cooperation. Prior to this she worked at the European Commission in Brussels (Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations and Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development) and Norsk Hydro as an EU Policy Researcher.
She is based in London.