Inez M. Tenenbaum
Inez M. Tenenbaum
Inez M. Tenenbaum was nominated to the Board of Directors for the 2021 Annual Meeting. Ms. Tenenbaum practices law with Wyche, P.A. in Greenville, South Carolina, following her tenure as Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Ms. Tenenbaum was nominated Chairman of the CPSC by President Barack Obama on May 5, 2009, and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on June 19, 2009. She began her term on June 22, 2009, and served until November 30, 2013, the end of her term, when she declined reappointment to the position.
During her tenure at the CPSC, she fulfilled a key promise to the Congress and consumers by working closely with agency staff, consumer stakeholders, and industry professionals to complete all the major safety rules required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Under her leadership, the CPSC created its first public database, www.saferproducts.gov, that provides consumers and manufacturers with access to information about consumer product hazards. Also during her tenure, the CPSC opened its first oversees office, located at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and opened the new National Product Testing and Evaluation Center, testing products for defects and establishing test methods to determine compliance with safety standards. And in 2011, the CPSC implemented a Risk Assessment Methodology (RAM) pilot project to analyze data available in Customs and Border Protection’s International Trade Data System (ITDS) to target potential unsafe products from coming into the country.
Prior to serving as Chairman for the CPSC, Ms. Tenenbaum was elected South Carolina’s State Superintendent of Education in 1998, and again in 2002. While serving as Superintendent, student achievement improved, with scores increasing on state, national, and international tests administered. Education Week, a distinguished national publication, ranked South Carolina highest in the country for the quality of its academic standards, assessment, and accountability system. Standard & Poor’s identified South Carolina as an “outperformer” on NAEP for consistently achieving above the statistical expectations, and the state’s SAT scores increased 34 points over Ms. Tenenbaum’s eight year tenure, the largest such gain in the nation during that time. In 2001, the Center for Creative Leadership, a nonprofit leadership institute in Greensboro, North Carolina, named Ms. Tenenbaum the recipient of its third annual Distinguished Alumni Award for “making leadership a fundamental requirement for school reform as part of South Carolina’s strategic plan for education.”
Ms. Tenenbaum received her Bachelor of Science in 1972 and Master of Education degrees in 1974 from the University of Georgia and her law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1986. She is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and has been recognized by national, state, and community organizations for her civic work on consumer product safety, education leadership, women’s empowerment, and child and family advocacy.