I cannot select a single “moment” in my FTC years, because there are so many memorable ones.

Some were inspiring, like our collective response to the horror of “9/11.” Some were gratifying, like the strong support for our “Do Not Call” rule. Some were disappointing, like the initially hostile judicial reaction to our unanimous views about pharma patent settlements.

I particularly welcomed the myriad opportunities to discuss our mission before private and public groups, including legislators in this country and officials in places as far away as Russia and China. I fondly recall the heartwarming fellowship at the Agency’s swearing-in, retirement, and award ceremonies—including my own.

Today, I think a lot about the lively debates in the regular weekly meetings with my Advisors. I had ten of the best: Holly Vedova, Lisa Kopchik, Tom Klotz, John Smollen, Mark Eichorn, Dara Diamond, Katherine Schnack, Eric Wenger, Mike Wroblewski and Beth Delaney. They were selected for their experience in areas where I particularly needed help, and encouraged to express any opinions that differed from mine.

The FTC’s principal mission is not to redress the past, but to establish ground rules for the future. We inevitably have to make predictions, and we all are fallible. My irreverent Advisors kept me grounded. They helped to craft my overall approach to the wonderful job I had for six years—and, indeed, the example of our spirited debates helps me to deal with some very different challenges today.

—Tom Leary