WASHINGTON – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has named Jonathan Midgett as its consumer ombudsman, a new position that seeks to give consumers a greater voice and understanding of the agency and its activities.
Building on the success of the agency’s small business ombudsman, this new post will be a resource for consumers, consumer advocacy groups, victims and victims’ advocates, and other non-regulated stakeholders who interact with the CPSC.
Midgett has been with the CPSC since 2001, starting out as a human factors engineer working on toys and juvenile products. In 2005, he became the Children’s Hazards Team Leader, focusing on voluntary standards and rulemaking, and in 2014 joined former chairman Elliott Kay’s staff as a science and policy advisor.
In this new role, his mission will include:
- Explaining agency processes, procedures, scientific principles and technical information to consumers in plain language
- Ensuring that consumer voices are represented within agency processes;
- Serving as an educator and advisor for individual consumers and consumer organizations; and
- Building relationships with consumers to enhance consumer engagement and the agency’s mission.
I’m Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.