Thomas Pahl has been appointed acting director of the Federal Trade Commission's consumer protection bureau, the agency said Wednesday.

Pahl will succeed Jessica Rich, who plans to leave the FTC on Feb. 17.

Most recently, Pahl worked on debt collection and credit reporting issues as a partner at Arnall Golden Gregory in Washington. He was selected by the FTC's acting chair, Maureen Ohlhausen.

"Tom's career demonstrates his continuing commitment to protecting consumers through active enforcement and advocacy that promotes a free and honest marketplace," Ohlhausen said in a press release. "His thoughtful approach will help ensure consumers benefit from thriving competition and innovation."

Pahl previously served in numerous roles at the FTC, and he also did a stint working on debt collection issues at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The FTC's press release emphasized his conservative credentials, noting that he spent four years as an adviser to Republican FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle. It also pointed out that Pahl is a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.

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