Campus News

Consumer Product Safety Commission chair to speak at UGA’s summer commencement

Inez Moore Tenenbaum

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia alumna Inez Moore Tenenbaum, the ninth chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, will give the summer Commencement address at UGA’s combined undergraduate and graduate ceremony Aug. 2 at 9:30 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.

Tickets are not required for the ceremony.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates the manufacture and sale of thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction and is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with product use. Tenenbaum, as chairman, oversees the agency.

“Welcoming back an alumna like Inez Tenenbaum, who plays such an important role in the federal government, is an honor for the University of Georgia,” said President-elect Jere Morehead, who will take office as UGA’s president on July 1. “She has been an advocate both here and abroad for safer consumer products and has truly made our state and our country a better place to live.”

During her tenure, which started in June 2009 after she was nominated by President Barack Obama, confirmed by the Senate and sworn into office, Tenenbaum reestablished public commission meetings, launched the consumer product safety incident database and started the agency’s social media initiative CPSC 2.0. She created an Office of Education, Global Outreach and Small Business Ombudsman and established two new teams-Safe Sleep for Babies and Minority Outreach. And, among other accomplishments, she expanded the commission’s marketplace surveillance program.

Pool drowning and drain entrapment prevention have received increased emphasis from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Tenenbaum served as the lead spokesperson for the agency’s recent media and educational campaign. The commission’s other ongoing efforts include the prevention of death and injuries from window coverings, youth sports, button batteries, high-powered magnets, recreational all-terrain vehicles, gel fuels and table saws.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008—which reformed and empowered the agency—has been a major focus of Tenenbaum and her office. Agency staff have worked to complete all of the law’s major safety rules, which require the lowest lead limits for children’s products in the world; limits on the use of certain phthalates in toys and child care items; mandatory standards for toys, toxic metals and youth products; and continuous testing of children’s products by independent, third-party laboratories.

Tenenbaum’s term as chairman ends this fall.

Tenenbaum received two degrees from UGA-her bachelor’s degree in 1972 and her master’s degree in education in 1974. Before pursuing a law degree from the University of South Carolina, which she obtained in 1986, she served as director of research for the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

She practiced health, environmental and public interest law with Sinkler and Boyd, P.A. from 1986-1991 and was elected South Carolina’s state superintendent of education in 1998, a position she held until 2007.

Tenenbaum has been recognized by several state and community organizations for her civic work on behalf of children and families. She is married to Samuel J. Tenenbaum.

UGA’s Commencement ceremony will be for students who complete degree requirements at the end of the summer 2013 semester. The ceremony will be broadcast live on channel 15 of the university and Charter cable systems. It also will be streamed live at

For more information on UGA’s summer Commencement ceremony, see