MHS Graduate Lina Khan Sworn in as New FTC Commissioner


Photo Courtesy of @goldennotebookbookstore on Instagram

Lina Khan’s appearance on the front page of the NY Times Business section.

Fatimah Khan, Editor-in-Chief

As the class of 2021 leaves Mamaroneck High School and moves on to pursue their dreams in college and beyond, they can be inspired by the accomplishments of past graduates such as Lina Khan. Khan, now 32, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, graduated MHS in 2006 and wrote for the Globe newspaper during her time in high school. As a sophomore in 2004, she wrote an article on the Starbucks store located directly adjacent to MHS regarding their policy that banned students from sitting, studying, or socializing at indoor tables during, before, and after school. Khan interviewed store employees when she did not get a reply from Starbucks’ district manager and found that the policy was a result of some students’ tendency to be loud and disruptive in the store without making a purchase. The New York Times took notice of her investigative reporting and covered the issue in an article entitled “A Tempest In a Coffee Shop” in October 2004. As evidenced by her later achievements, this was only the start of Khan’s passion for and continuing pursuit of truth and accountability regarding corporations. 

After MHS, Khan attended Williams College, where she served as the editor of the Williams Record, the student newspaper. Khan’s passion for writing and journalism continued throughout her time at Yale Law School as submissions editor for Yale Law Journal on Regulation. In 2017, when she earned a doctorate in law from Yale Law, her article titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” garnered widespread attention in the legal and business worlds. Described by the New York Times as a “breakthrough legal text” which “reframes decades of monopoly law,” one can see similarities in the intent if not content between the article and her writing regarding Starbucks from 2004. The 2017 article criticized antitrust laws as too weak and concluded that the best interests of consumers are undermined by monopolistic companies, such as Amazon. 

Since the success of her article, Khan has worked as a Legal Fellow at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), legal director at the Open Markets Institute, and counsel to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Comercial, and Administrative Law. She was an associate professor at Columbia Law School from 2020 to 2021. Due to Khan’s examination of large technology companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook, news of her nomination has been met with positive reactions from both political parties. Khan was confirmed as a member of the FTC on June 15 and was elevated to chair the Commission by President Biden. 

Described as “soft-spoken” by The Wall Street Journal, a “legal prodigy” by Rohit Chopra, a commissioner of the FTC, and a “New Brandeisian” in reference to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ relentless pursuit of big business, Khan is clearly a passionate and impactful woman with a bright future ahead of her. Her story is an example of how hard work, passion, and bravery have the ability to transform a high school hobby into a lifelong pursuit of justice. This year’s graduates should rest assured knowing that their time and effort at MHS also sets them up for a bright future with an abundance of opportunities.


*The author of this article has no relation to Lina Khan.