Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Who Is Elliot Kaye?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

On March 31, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Elliot F. Kaye to be chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Kaye will be one of five members on the CPSC, which he served as a staffer for many years.


Kaye, who’s from New York, graduated from Northwestern University in 1991 with a B.S. in journalism. His future was in public service however and in 1993 he came to Washington as an unpaid intern on Capitol Hill. He worked in the offices of Rep. Earl Hutto (D-Florida), as communications director and chief of staff for Rep. Pat Danner (D-Missouri) and as chief of staff to Rep. John Tierney (D-Massachusetts) until 2001.


Kaye then left Washington to attend law school at New York University. He received his J.D. in 2004, and from 2005 to 2006 clerked for U.S. Circuit Court Judge Sterling Johnson in the Eastern District of New York.


In 2006, while working for the firm of Cooley Godward Kronish in New York, Kaye took the case of Salifou Yankene, a former Ivory Coast child soldier who had requested asylum upon landing in New York. Kaye was able win asylum for Yankene. In 2007, Kaye joined the firm of Hogan Lovells, where he was an associate until 2010.


Kaye moved to the CPSC as senior counsel in 2010 and in 2012 was named deputy chief of staff along with his duties as senior counsel. In 2013, Kaye was named chief of staff and chief counsel to CPSC chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum. Since Tenenbaum left in late 2013, Kaye has been the commission’s executive director.


While at CPSC, Kaye has done extensive work to minimize brain and head injuries resulting from youth football. Another project of Kaye’s was warning about the risks of coin, or button, batteries. These batteries are often swallowed by children, resulting in severe chemical burns.


Kaye’s wife, Kanae, is the country officer for Haiti at the World Bank. They have two sons, Noah and Ethan.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Elliot Kaye Nominated As New Chairman Of The CPSC (by Matthew R. Howsare, Mondaq)

Statement to Senate Commerce Committee (pdf)


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