Mr. Swindle served as a Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission from December 18, 1997 through June 30, 2005. The Federal Trade Commission is the federal government's principal law enforcement agency for antitrust and consumer protection laws dealing with mergers and acquisitions; fraudulent, deceptive and illegal business practices; information system privacy and security; and business and consumer education.
As a Commissioner, he was engaged in decision-making during the peak of the merger and acquisition wave of recent years; privacy and security concerns driven by the developing information economy and electronic commerce; and international policy deliberations and presentations on these issues. Mr. Swindle has played a leadership role in addressing information system security and privacy concerns in both domestic and international settings through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization. He has testified before numerous Congressional Committees in his capacity as a presidential-appointed Assistant Secretary of Commerce under President Reagan and most recently as a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission.
From 1981 to 1989 Mr. Swindle served in the Reagan Administration where he directed financial assistance programs to economically-distressed rural and municipal areas of the country. As Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development he managed the Department of Commerce's national economic development initiatives directing seven offices across the country. Prior to his position as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Swindle served as the Georgia State Director of the Farmers Home Administration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he managed programs for financing farming ownership and operations, rural housing and community infrastructure.
Mr. Swindle was national spokesperson for Ross Perot's grassroots presidential campaign in 1992, and became the first national leader of United We Stand America. In 1993, he worked with former cabinet secretaries Jack Kemp and William Bennett, former Congressman Vin Weber, and Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick to form Empower America. He was the Republican candidate for Congress in Hawaii's 1st Congressional District in 1994 and 1996.
Mr. Swindle's military career is one of extraordinary triumph. He was serving as a Marine aviator in South Vietnam, flying his 205th and what was to be his final combat mission on November 11,1966, when he was shot down over North Vietnam. He was captured by the North Vietnamese and held Prisoner of War in Hanoi for the next six years and four months. On March 4, 1973, he was released from captivity at the conclusion of American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Mr. Swindle retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1979 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He has been awarded more than twenty military decorations for valor in combat including two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, two Legions of Merit, thirteen Air Medals and two Purple Hearts.
As a close friend of Senator John McCain, Mr. Swindle was intimately involved in Senator McCain's 2008 campaign as the Republican Party's nomination for the presidency.
He has been recognized for his leadership in his various professional capacities. He is the recipient of the 2005 RSA Conference Award for Public Policy by the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, the 2004 Privacy Leadership Award from the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the 2003 WW II Marine Raiders "Point Man" Award for his lifetime of leadership and "pointing the way." He is a recipient of the Truman-Reagan Freedom Award given by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Most recently, in 2007, he received the Semper Fidelis Award for leadership and accomplishments by the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.
Mr. Swindle is a frequent speaker on matters of public policy, particularly information system security and privacy, corporate governance and information management. He also frequently speaks on the topics of motivation, overcoming adversity, character and leadership. His audiences have included those from legal and business communities, military, academia and students, politics, public service and civic groups in both domestic and international settings. He has been the subject of hundreds of news articles and stories and has made dozens of appearances on television and cable network news shows.
Mr. Swindle was born in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 8, 1937, and grew up in Camilla, Georgia. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech in 1959 and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University in 1975. He is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International. He and his wife, Angela Williams, live in Alexandria, Virginia.