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Congress

FCC Consumer Protection Official Departs

February 2, 2012

A top consumer protection official at the Federal Communications Commission is stepping down, the agency said on Thursday.

Joel Gurin, chief of the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, oversaw efforts to crack down on abusive robocalls; companies that sneak unauthorized charges onto customers' bills, also know as "cramming;" and unclear billing practices known as "bill shock." He also worked on programs to help people with disabilities take advantage of modern communications.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Gurin helped use technology to empower consumers as the communications market rapidly evolved. "We'll miss Joel's dedication as a stalwart advocate for consumers, working to solve real problems in smart ways," Genachowski said in a statement.

Kris Monteith, currently a deputy chief in the FCC's Media Bureau, will serve as acting bureau chief.

Gurin, a former science and medical journalist, joined the commission in 2009 after serving as acting president of NARSAD, a non-profit charity now known as the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. He also spent almost a decade as vice president of Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports.

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