The Honorable Inez M. Tenebaum
Of Counsel, Wyche, P.A.
Former Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Former Superintendent of Education, State of South Carolina
Inez Tenenbaum practices law at Wyche, P.A. in both the Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina offices. She practices in the area of consumer product safety and advises clients on matters involving the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other regulatory bodies, including product testing and certification, compliance programs, risk assessment and management, regulatory oversight, product reporting and recalls and litigation. Ms. Tenenbaum also provides consulting services on education policy for regional and national organizations whose mission is to provide a quality education for all children.
Ms. Tenenbaum was appointed by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2009, as Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and served until November 30, 2013. Tenenbaum established a leadership philosophy aimed at making the agency more accessible and transparent; making education and advocacy a priority; and being firm, but fair in enforcing product safety laws.
During her tenure, she fulfilled a key promise to the Congress and consumers by working closely with agency staff and industry and consumer stakeholders to complete all the major safety rules required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), a law that reformed and empowered the CPSC. In implementing the Act, Ms. Tenenbaum advocated and the Commission supported:
- the establishment of the strongest baby crib safety standards in the world;
- the lowest lead limit for children’s products in the world;
- mandatory standards for toys, toxic metals, and juvenile products; and
- premarket testing of children’s products by independent, third-party laboratories.
Prior to becoming Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Ms. Tenenbaum served as South Carolina’s State Superintendent of Education from 1999-2007. During her tenure as State Superintendent, student achievement in South Carolina improved at the fastest rate in the nation, with scores increasing on every state, national and international tests administered. At the end of Ms. Tenenbaum’s tenure, the prestigious journal Education Week ranked South Carolina number one in the country for the quality of its academic standards, assessment and accountability systems.