FTC Commissioner Joshua Wright to Step Down

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The National Mall in Washington, DC.

A Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission is heading back to the classroom. Joshua D. Wright, who has served as a commissioner for two-plus years, will resign this coming Monday (Aug. 24) and return to his teaching position at George Mason University School of Law, the FTC has announced.

Wright, 38, was appointed by President Obama to replace J. Thomas Rosch and assumed his place on the FTC in January 2013. FTC commissioners serve seven-year terms, meaning whoever replaces Wright will finish the remaining four years of his term.

"It has been a privilege to work with Commissioner Wright during his tenure at the Federal Trade Commission," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "The agency has benefited greatly from his perspective as a lawyer and economist in connection with the matters that have come before us. We are going to miss him and wish him well on his return to academic life."

During his brief tenure, Wright has established himself as the most conservative member on the five-member commission, which has a 3-2 Democratic majority. Wright regularly dissents on matters concerning antitrust regulation and he notably recused himself of all Google-related matters because the company had previously funded some of his academic research. But unlike many GOP members in Washington, Wright actually worked with the Democrats on the commission and last week brokered an agreement with them to establish more clear guidelines for how they police “unfair” competition by businesses, the Wall Street Journal reports.