40 under 40-2021 Lina Khan
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  • Age
  • Title
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    Federal Trade Commission

Lina Khan makes tech behemoths with trillion-dollar market caps shake in their boots. At just 32, she is the youngest and arguably most progressive head of the Federal Trade Commission in the agency’s 106-year history, and she’s determined to make big changes.

As the leader of an agency tasked with the enforcement of antitrust law and consumer protection, Khan is set to act as the de facto face of coordinated efforts by the White House and Congress to rein in Big Tech, paving the way to the first big changes in antitrust law since Ronald Reagan was President.

Khan was born in London to Pakistani parents and immigrated to the United States when she was 11. She served as editor of her student newspaper at Williams before joining New America, where she began her career in antitrust research. But Khan really made waves as a 28-year-old law school student at Yale University in 2017, when she wrote a groundbreaking 98-page article about Amazon’s anticompetitive behavior for The Yale Law Journal. The paper was picked up and widely read, her first major brush with fame. She soon became the golden child of the antitrust revolution, working alongside senators like Elizabeth Warren to bring tech CEOs to testify on their practices.

“With chair Khan at the helm [of the FTC],” said Warren, “we have a huge opportunity to make big, structural change by reviving antitrust enforcement and fighting monopolies that threaten our economy, our society, and our democracy.”

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