Joel Gurin is Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. The bureau develops policies related to consumer affairs; works with state, local, and tribal governments; communicates to the public about the FCC's work; facilitates public participation in the FCC's decision-making process; handles consumer inquiries and complaints; and ensures access to communications technology for people with disabilities.
Mr. Gurin, who joined the FCC in December 2009, comes to this position with a strong background in consumer issues and communication. He was Executive Vice President of Consumers Union (CU), nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, for almost a decade. He led the core operations of this large and complex advocacy and publishing organization, which then had a staff of 500 and budget of $200 million. Before becoming Executive VP, he was Science Editor and then Editorial Director for Consumer Reports and related publications.
During his career at CU, Mr. Gurin directed strategic planning and budgeting, fundraising, editorial and communications, publishing, research, and product testing. He worked with CU's public policy experts to develop new programs combining information delivery, advocacy, and consumer activism. These included a national campaign on health care reform, a website on environmental issues, and another site to help consumers find low-cost alternatives to expensive prescription drugs.
Under his leadership, CU launched and grew Consumer Reports’ Web site, a major driver of CU’s success. ConsumerReports.org has become the world’s largest information-based paid subscription site with more than 3 million active subscribers.
Before coming to CU, Mr. Gurin was an award-winning science and medical journalist. He was co-founder and Editor of American Health, the first health magazine to win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. He has written and edited four books on health and medicine.
After leaving CU in 2006, Mr. Gurin worked for both publishing and non-profit enterprises. He served as Senior Vice President, Rodale Interactive, where he developed online growth strategy for the country's largest health and wellness publisher. He then served as Acting Editor-in-Chief for State of the USA, a nonprofit organization founded to develop measures of national progress. For a year before joining the FCC, he was Acting President of NARSAD, a leading charity dedicated to mental health research.
Mr. Gurin received his B.A. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He commutes to Washington from Scarsdale, New York, where he has lived for 15 years with his wife Carol, who is a clinical psychologist, and their family.