The TACD Steering Committee are responsible for developing joint strategy and driving forward the network’s advocacy activities.
As Director General of BEUC – the European Consumer Organisation, 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 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.
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.
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.
David Friedman is Vice President of Advocacy at Consumer Reports. He leads the organization’s efforts to secure consumer safeguards, improved corporate practices, and innovative solutions to realize a fairer, safer, and healthier marketplace.
David previously served as Consumer Report’s Director of Cars and Product Policy and Analysis, where he led their public policy and analytical efforts to ensure that consumers’ interests are protected and that safer, more sustainable vehicles and other products are available in the marketplace.
David is a respected leader and innovator whose work has helped improve the lives of consumers. He served as both Deputy and Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where he led the agency’s mission to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce the economic costs of road traffic crashes. He also served at the Department of Energy as Deputy and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where he led the organization’s efforts to accelerate the ongoing transition to clean energy.
Prior to his senior leadership positions at NHTSA and the Department of Energy, David worked for 12 years at the Union of Concerned Scientists in several capacities, including senior engineer, research director, and deputy director of its clean vehicles program. Before joining UCS, he worked for the University of California, Davis, in the Fuel Cell Vehicle Modeling Program.
Els Bruggeman is Domain Head Policy and Enforcement at Euroconsumers, a collaboration unit of five consumer organisations: Test Achats (Belgium), Altroconsumo (Italy), OCU (Spain), Deco Proteste (Portugal) and Proteste (Brazil). Together they represent almost one and a half million consumers. Els is responsible for the coordination of all policy related issues and the enforcement cases, e.g. the class actions against Volkswagen (Dieselgate) and Facebook that were launched in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Els joined the consumer movement in 2014 when she started working as EU Public Affairs advisor for the Belgian consumer organisation Test Achats/Test Aankoop. Before she was active for more than 10 years in the political world, both as policy advisor and spokesperson a.o. for the Belgian Vice Prime Minister and minister for consumer protection.
Els Bruggeman has master degrees both in History and Law, and advanced masters in International Politics and Development Cooperation. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue and takes part in the Executive Board of BEUC (European Consumer organisation).
Information Society Policy Committee
The Information Society (Infosoc) policy committee covers all issues related to protecting and building digital rights and safeguards for EU and US citizens and consumers. The committee focuses on harmonisation and protection, and ensuring that the policies and legislation on digital rights (e.g. the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the EU-US Privacy Shield, e-Privacy Directive revision) are effectively implemented by the industry and understood by policymakers and the media.
Burcu Kilic, Ph.D., is a scholar, lawyer and digital rights advocate. She currently works at Public Citizen as the Director of the Digital Rights Program.
Her understanding helps shape the thinking and strategies of policymakers, scholars and advocates. For example, when the new e-commerce trade agreements were first being negotiated, She was first to come out with analyses of the Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). She roots her technical and legal expertise in a profound desire to improve the welfare of humanity. During the main session at IGF 2017, Mexico’s former TPP negotiator told the room that “(…) [P]art of what we have in the TPP, as positive outcomes, are the responsibility of this person (Burcu Kilic)”.
She completed her Ph.D. at Queen Mary, University of London as a School of Law Fellow, where she taught International and Comparative Patent Law and Policy. She holds Masters degrees from University of London and Stockholm University in Intellectual Property Law and Law and Information Technology and a law degree from Ankara University. She is also a SARChI Research Fellow at Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa.
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).
Intellectual Property Policy Committee
The Intellectual Property (IP) policy committee focuses on promoting a more balanced IP regime in which consumers’ needs for access are given equal standing to the needs of rights holders.
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 is the Chief Competition Advisor at BEUC – the European Consumer Organisation.
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.
Food Policy Committee
The Food Policy Committee focuses on a broad range of issues relating to EU and US policies on nutrition, food technologies, information and safety as well as on cross-cutting issues.
Jean Halloran is Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumer Reports.
Financial Services Policy Committee
The financial services policy committee focuses on making certain that the necessary and ongoing financial service reforms happening both in the EU and US fundamentally address the needs of consumers. The committee has also explored the issue of digitalisation of financial services and the impact of fintech on consumer protections.
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.
Interim EU Co-Chair
Farid Aliyev has been working at 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 President of European Digital Rights (EDRi), Board Chair Emeritus at Privacy International 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.