Consumer Protection

Consumer Federation of America Celebrates 50 Years of Consumer Advocacy

Event Includes the Transfer of Leadership from Brobeck to Gillis and a Presentation by Senator Ed Markey

Washington, D.C. – At a dinner at the Capital Hilton on Wednesday, June 20th, the Consumer Federation of America will celebrate 50 years of research, advocacy and consumer protection. Joining CFA at the event will be many of its 275 member organizations, supporters and Senator Ed Markey.

In 1968, Esther Peterson, consumer advisor to two presidents, called for the formation of the Consumer Federation of America as a broad-based organization that would give consumers a stronger voice before Congress and the Executive Branch. Consumers Union (Consumer Reports), other consumer groups, consumer cooperatives, and trade unions responded by organizing a federation to champion needed protections for consumer pocketbooks, health and safety.

In addition to this 50 year celebration, CFA will be honoring retiring Executive Director Steve Brobeck and welcoming Jack Gillis as the new Executive Director.

For the past 38 years CFA has been led by Steve Brobeck, an academic and community activist from Cleveland. During his tenure, Brobeck unified a diverse set of consumer and co-op organizations, built a strong financial base, recruited leading advocates as staff, and took the lead in developing various advocacy campaigns. He also proposed and helped establish new organizations including Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and programs including America Saves and Consumer Lobby Day. He has served on numerous boards including that of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Jack Gillis has been CFA’s Director of Public Affairs since 1983 and is a long-time consumer advocate and author, co-author and editor of 74 consumer books including The Car Book.  He served as a contributing consumer correspondent for NBC’s Today Show representing CFA, was Good Housekeeping’s personal finance columnist, and product safety columnist at Child Magazine. Gillis’ advocacy has been responsible for major changes in the automobile industry, including significantly improved vehicle safety, better warranties, and increased fuel efficiency.

CFA is a strong consumer voice in Washington, whose effectiveness is the result of an extraordinary staff of expert advocates and the participation of a broad range of national, state, and local organizations – including consumer advocacy and education groups, consumer cooperatives, trade unions, community organizations, social justice groups, and state and local protection agencies.

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-939-1018; Anna Marie Lowery, 202-939-1005