Advisory Committee on Online Access and Security—Nomination, P004807

Nomination of Professor Eric J. Johnson
(by Dennis A. Yao)

Please consider Professor Eric J. Johnson, Norman Eig Professor of Business at Columbia University for the Advisory Committee. Professor Johnson is one of the best—possibly the best—marketing professor working and teaching in the area of electronic commerce. He combines an exceptional understanding of consumer behavior with a sensible and economics-informed knowledge of electronic commerce. Until his recent move to Columbia, Professor Johnson was the head of the Wharton Electronic Commerce Forum—The Wharton School’s primary vehicle for research on electronic commerce. In recent years Professor Johnson has been a participant in FTC workshops on electronic commerce and has written not only about electronic commerce in general, but also on privacy issues relating to electronic commerce (e.g., Kobrin and Johnson, "We Know All About You: Personal Privacy in the Information Age," working paper, February 1999).

I believe that Professor Johnson would make an ideal member of the Committee. During the almost fifteen years I have had him as a colleague, he has impressed me as one of the most interdisciplinary business scholars at Wharton. Professor Johnson and I have had innumerable conversations about FTC-related policy issues ranging from deceptive advertising and marketing to privacy on the internet. He listens well, asks penetrating questions, and has an open mind. Further, his breadth extends easily into the technical aspects of electronic commerce. This breadth does not come at the expense of depth: Professor Johnson has an outstanding international reputation among marketing academics.

It is very important that the Advisory Committee have at least one member from the marketing academic community who can provide a big-picture and unbiased perspective on the benefits and costs of various policies and is trained to identify various connections and create suitable frameworks. Professor Johnson is the best person I know to serve this function.

Dr. Dennis A. Yao
Associate Professor of Public Policy and
Management, The Wharton School, University of
Pennsylvania and former Commissioner, Federal
Trade Commission