Mission and History: In 1975, Congress created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) - the statute that governs the financing of federal elections. The duties of the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency, are to 1. disclose campaign finance information, to 2. enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to 3. oversee the public funding of Presidential elections. Source: http://www.fec.gov/info/mission.shtml MORE: Commissioner Biographies
• Six (6) Commissioners Overall Source Page: http://www.fec.gov/members/members.shtml
• 1. Commissioner Matthew S. Petersen - Nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2008, and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on June 24, 2008.
From 2005 until his appointment to the Commission, Mr. Petersen served as Republican chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. In this capacity, Mr. Petersen provided counsel on issues relating to federal campaign finance and election administration laws as well as the Standing Rules of the Senate.
Prior to this, Mr. Petersen served as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration. During his tenure, Mr. Petersen was extensively involved in the crafting of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 ("HAVA") and the House-Senate negotiations that culminated in HAVA's passage. From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Petersen specialized in election and campaign finance law at the law firm of Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Petersen received his J.D. in 1999 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy from Brigham Young University in 1996. He also received an A.S. with high honors from Utah Valley State College. Source - Biography: http://www.fec.gov/members/petersen/petersen_bio.shtml
• 2. Steven T. Walther was first sworn in as an FEC Commissioner on January 10, 2006, as a recess appointee. Although his name was placed before the Senate for confirmation in June, 2007, his recess term expired on December 31, 2007, before the Senate acted. On June 24, 2008, he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate and sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on June 27, to resume the balance of his statutory term. Mr. Walther served as Vice Chairman of the FEC for the balance of 2008 and served as the Commission’s Chairman in 2009.
Prior to joining the FEC as a Commissioner, Mr. Walther practiced law in the Reno, Nevada law firm of Walther, Key, Maupin, Oats, Cox & LeGoy, now known as Maupin, Cox & LeGoy which he co-founded in 1972.
During his legal career Mr. Walther has been active in professional legal and judicial organizations and activities, as well as numerous civic activities. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and currently serves as co-chair of the ABA Center for Human Rights. He has been active in ABA initiatives focusing on international relations, human rights and the rule of law. He was appointed by the ABA President to serve as the ABA Representative to the United Nations. He served on the Executive Board of the ABA Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), which oversees the ABA’s democracy building programs in over 21 countries - programs which promote development of fair and open election laws. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees and lecturer for the National Judicial College, both in the United States and in Russia. Mr. Walther has lectured extensively, both domestically and internationally (principally in Russia), on rule of law, human rights, litigation and international law issues. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the International Bar Association.
Mr. Walther is a former president of the State Bar of Nevada, the Western States Bar Conference, and the National Caucus of State Bar Associations. He is a past chair of the 6,000 member Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, the legal research arm of the ABA. From 1971 until his FEC appointment, Mr. Walther served as a member of the Nevada State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
He received his J.D. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley in 1968, and recently served as president of the Boalt Hall Alumni Association. He received his undergraduate degree, with a major in Russian, from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1965.
Source - Biography: http://www.fec.gov/members/walther/walther.shtml
3. Commissioner Ann M. Ravel - Nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President Barack Obama on June 21, 2013. After her appointment received the unanimous consent of the United States Senate, Ms. Ravel joined the Commission on October 25, 2013. She served as Chair of the Commission for 2015 and Vice Chair for 2014.
From March 2011 until her appointment to the Commission, Ms. Ravel served as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), to which Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. appointed her. At the FPPC, Ms. Ravel oversaw the regulation of campaign finance, lobbyist registration and reporting, and ethics and conflicts of interest related to officeholders and public employees. During her tenure at the FPPC, Ms. Ravel was instrumental in the creation of the States' Unified Network (SUN) Center, a web-based center for sharing information on campaign finance.
Before joining the FPPC, Ms. Ravel served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Torts and Consumer Litigation in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice. Ms. Ravel also worked as an attorney in the Santa Clara County Counsel's Office, ultimately serving as the appointed County Counsel from 1998 until 2009. Ms. Ravel represented the County and its elected officials, provided advice on the state Political Reform Act, and initiated groundbreaking programs in elder abuse litigation, educational rights, and consumer litigation on behalf of the Santa Clara County government and the community.
Ms. Ravel has served as an elected Governor on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, a member of the Judicial Council of the State of California, and Chair of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. In 2014, she was named a California Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer magazine for her work in Government law, and in 2007, the State Bar of California named Ms. Ravel Public Attorney of the Year for her contributions to public service.
Ms. Ravel received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Ms. Ravel is the daughter of a Latin American immigrant mother and an American father. She was raised in Latin America before her family settled in the San Francisco Bay area, which she considers home. Source - Biography: http://www.fec.gov/members/weintraub/weintraubbio.shtml
4. Commissioner Lee E. Goodman was appointed to the Federal Election Commission by President Barack Obama on October 21, 2013, and sworn into office on October 22, 2013. President Obama nominated Commissioner Goodman, a Republican, on June 24, 2013, on the recommendation of Senator Mitch McConnell and he was confirmed by unanimous consent of the United States Senate on September 23, 2013. Commissioner Goodman served as Chairman of the commission in 2014 and Vice Chairman in 2013.
Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Goodman practiced election law in private practice for the better part of two decades and served in a number of governmental and political posts. In private practice, he represented candidates, public officials, political parties, political action committees, non-profit organizations, and media companies in addressing a wide range of laws regulating their political activities and speech. He advised four presidential campaigns from 2007 to 2012. He served as general counsel of the Republican Party of Virginia (2009-2013). He also represented non-political clients in addressing other regulatory and public policy issues.
His prior government service includes four years as legal counsel and policy advisor to the Governor of Virginia (1998-2002) and three years as counsel and special assistant to the Attorney General of Virginia (1995-1997). He served as chief advisor to the Chairman of the Congressional Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce (1999-2000).
Mr. Goodman has authored several articles on election law, including a chapter on regulation of political speech on the Internet in the book Law and Election Politics - The Rules of the Game (Routledge 2013), and he has lectured frequently on election law topics. He has served on the boards of several political, educational and cultural non-profit organizations. He is recognized as a national expert in close elections, recounts and election administration.
He received his B.A. with highest distinction in 1986 from the University of Virginia, where he double majored in American Government and Rhetoric & Communication Studies. He received his J.D. in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as Articles Editor for the U.Va. Journal of Law & Politics. Source - Biography: http://www.fec.gov/members/goodman/goodman_bio.shtml
5. Caroline C. Hunter - Nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President George W. Bush on May 6, 2008. Her appointment was approved by the United States Senate on June 24, 2008.
Ms. Hunter previously served as the Vice-Chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Ms. Hunter was nominated to the EAC in 2006 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 15, 2007.
Ms. Hunter previously served as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison from January to October 2006. From 2005 to 2006, she served as executive officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman.
From 2001 to 2005 she was associate counsel and then deputy counsel at the Republican National Committee where she provided guidance on Election Law and the implementation of the Help America Vote Act.
Ms. Hunter graduated cum laude from the University of Memphis School of Law and received her bachelor of arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two daughters. Source - Biography: http://www.fec.gov/members/hunter/hunter.shtml
6. Ellen L. Weintraub took office as a Member of the United States Federal Election Commission (FEC) on December 9, 2002. After an initial recess appointment, her nomination was confirmed by unanimous consent of the United States Senate on March 18, 2003. Commissioner Weintraub has twice served as Chair of the Commission, for calendar years 2003 and 2013.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Weintraub was Of Counsel to Perkins Coie LLP and a member of its Political Law Group. There, she counseled clients on federal and state campaign finance and election laws, political ethics, nonprofit law, recounts, and lobbying regulation. During the election contest arising out of the 1996 election of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ms. Weintraub served on the legal team that advised the Senate Rules Committee. Her tenure with Perkins Coie represented Ms. Weintraub’s second stint in private practice, having previously practiced as a litigator with the New York law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel.
Before joining Perkins Coie, Ms. Weintraub was Counsel to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for the U.S. House of Representatives (the House Ethics Committee). Like the Commission, the Committee on Standards is a bipartisan body, evenly divided between Democratic and Republican members. Ms. Weintraub’s work focused on implementing the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 and subsequent changes to the House Code of Official Conduct. She also served as editor in chief of the House Ethics Manual and as a principal contributor to the Senate Ethics Manual. While at the Committee, Ms. Weintraub counseled Members on investigations and often had lead responsibility for the Committee’s public education and compliance initiatives.
Ms. Weintraub received her B.A., cum laude, from Yale College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. A native New Yorker, she is a member of the New York and District of Columbia bars and the Supreme Court bar. Source - Biography: http://www.fec.gov/members/weintraub/weintraub.shtml