Elizabeth Wilkins

Former Chief of Staff to the Chair, Federal Trade Commission

Washington, DC



  • Federal Trade Commission
  • White House (Biden and Obama administrations)
  • D.C. Attorney General



  • Antitrust and competition
  • Labor and workforce policy
  • Monopolies and anti-competitive business practices



  • Yale University, J.D., B.A.


Recent Coverage

JUN 6, 2024

Washington Post | Democrats ramp up patent fight with drug industry in bid to lower prices

“Instead of saying let’s write an amicus brief every time we see this in a litigation, we thought, let’s put the market on notice,” said Elizabeth Wilkins, who served as the FTC’s chief of staff before leaving the agency late last year.

APR 27, 2024

Business Insider | A flurry of new rules from the Biden administration attempt to ban noncompetes, boost overtime pay, and increase refunds for delayed flights

Elizabeth Wilkins, the former chief of staff to the chair and director of the Office of Policy and Planning at the FTC, described noncompetes as “fundamentally at odds” with the American promise of being able to find opportunities that fit workers’ skills and talents. Zooming out, she said, the ban might make a labor market with less friction, where workers can match with employers that make sense for them, boosting productivity.

“To me,” Wilkins said, “this rule represents the absolute best of government working for people.”

APR 24, 2024

Axios | How the FTC’s noncompete ban will impact health care

“Doctors are trapped in places where they may or may not feel good about the care that they are able to provide,” says American Economic Liberties Project senior fellow Elizabeth Wilkins.

This can cause bigger problems when existing shortages are acute, such as in rural areas, Wilkins says.

JAN 6, 2023

Marketplace | The FTC moves to ban non-compete clauses

The FTC estimates 1 in 5 Americans work under non-compete clauses that cost them up to $300 billion in lost wages. “It can be a real problem for folks who are looking to find a job with a better wage, with better health care benefits, more flexibility for their families,” says Elizabeth Wilkins, who directs the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning.

The proposed rule would nullify all existing non-compete clauses and ban them for future employees and independent contractors. Wilkins says that would also benefit consumers because “non-competes hamper innovation by restricting the flow of knowledge across competitors.”

MAR 8, 2023

ABC News | FTC’s new rule could end noncompete agreements for millions of workers

FTC Director of Policy Planning Elizabeth Wilkins said the rule would boost wages and promote competition by allowing workers to move more freely between jobs, pointing to the widespread use of the agreements in low-wage service industries.

“People think this is about folks in the boardroom, but it’s not,” she said. “It’s also about hairstylists. It’s about security guards. It’s about journalists. People all across the income spectrum, all kinds of job descriptions have noncompetes.”


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About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wilkins was the Chief of Staff to the Chair and Director of the Office of Policy and Planning. Before joining the FTC, Wilkins served as Senior Advisor to the White House Chief of Staff. Prior to that, she worked in several senior leadership roles at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, including Senior Counsel for Policy and Chief of Staff. Wilkins also previously served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Elena Kagan of the U.S. Supreme Court, and to then-Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Before law school, Wilkins was a policy advisor in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Wilkins began her career as a political organizer for SEIU 32BJ in New York City. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School.