Inez Tenenbaum of counsel

Inez Tenenbaum focuses her practice on consumer product safety and risk management, education policy, and alternative dispute resolution.   

In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated her to chair the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. She was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on June 19, 2009, and served until her term expired in November 2013. Read about her many accomplishments during her tenure as Chairman here.  Inez’s experience as Chairman of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has made her a trusted advisor to clients on product safety issues including, compliance, prevention, crises, and education.

Inez was elected South Carolina’s State Superintendent of Education in 1998, and again in 2002.  At the end of her tenure in that office, South Carolina was a leader in the nation in education improvement. 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 the eight years, the largest such gain in the nation.  Inez draws on that experience to counsel clients on public policy issues regarding education on a state, regional, or national level.

Inez is also certified as a state circuit court mediator and a federal district court mediator for civil cases in South Carolina. Through her work in both state and federal government, she has experience with mediating disputes and working through complex issues to reach solutions. She has the communication skills, professional abilities, and temperament to competently mediate disputes in an effective, ethical manner.

 

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1986, J.D. University of South Carolina School of Law, Associate Editor-in-Chief of South Carolina Law Review
1974, M.Ed. University of Georgia
1972, B.S. University of Georgia

As former Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Inez Tenenbaum has a thorough knowledge of the way that agency operates. She can:

  • evaluate clients' products to ensure compliance with applicable consumer product safety requirements to protect a manufacturer's brand and reduce exposure to civil and/or criminal fines and penalties;
  • assess and advise manufacturers regarding product safety crises, product safety reporting issues, government investigations, corrective action plans, and voluntary and involuntary recalls, including the CPSC's Fast Track Product Recall Program;
  •  assess and advise manufacturers and retailers on their internal compliance systems, developing integrated internal compliance programs, and data management to avoid civil penalties for failure to timely report to the CPSC;
  • counsel clients on the CPSC's regulatory process;
  • provide comprehensive training, including prevention programs, and investigations addressing product failures or complaints, and developing methods of avoiding or minimizing potential claims; and
  • and develop educational materials and public education campaigns for children and adults on the safe use of a particular product or products
2016 Wyche, P.A.
2015-2016 Inez Tenenbaum, LLC
2013-2015 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
2009-2013 Chairman of United States Consumer Products Safety Commission
1999-2007 South Carolina State Superintendent of Education
1986-1992 Sinkler & Boyd, P.A.
  • South Carolina Bar, 1986

SELECTED PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP:

  • Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2009-2013
  • South Carolina State Superintendent of Education, 1999-2007
  • Member, Southern Regional Education Board's Early Childhood Commission, 2014-2015
  • Advisory Board, South Carolina's Coalition for Mathematics and Science, 2015-present
  • National Advisory Board, International African American Museum, 2013-present
  • Board of Directors, South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities Foundation, 2007-2009
  • National Advisory Board, Milken Family Foundation’s National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, 2007-2009
  • Southern Regional Education Board, 1999–2008
  • Board of Directors, S.C. Chamber of Commerce, 2005-2006
  • Board of Trustees, Allen University, 1996–2007
  • Board, University of South Carolina Law School Partnership, 1990–1992
2014 Kids In Danger's Best Friend Award 
2014 Global Vision Award, Columbia World Affairs Council 
2013 Advocate of the Year, Appleseed Legal Justice Center 
2012 Inspiring Women Award, Coastal Carolina University 
2010 Chairman's Award, American National Standards Institute
2009 Israel's Star of David Award, Israel Bond 
2009 Great Friend to Kids Award, Edventure Children's Museum
2008 Community Service Award, Cooperative Ministries 
2007 Woman of Achievement, South Carolina Commission on Women
2006 Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award given by a South Carolina governor 
2005 J. Waites Waring Humanitarian Award, United Black Fund of the Midlands
2001 Whitney M. Young Award, Boy Scouts of America, Indian Waters Council 
2001 Distinguished Alumni Award, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC 
 2000

Compleat Lawyer Award, South Carolina School of Law