Rhoda Karpatkin Consumer International Award

This Award was established in 2005 to honor the pioneering work of Rhoda Karpatkin to enhance the welfare of consumers throughout the world. The recipient will have made significant contributions to the welfare of consumers on the international stage, is recognized as a leader in the consumer field, and be a member of ACCI or Consumers International.

Rhoda Karpatkin

Rhoda Karpatkin

Rhoda H. Karpatkin was President Emeritus of Consumers Union of United States, Inc. (1974 to 2001), the non-profit product-testing and consumer advisory organization that publishes Consumer Reports, a monthly magazine with about 4 million subscribers. Before joining Consumers Union in 1974, Ms. Karpatkin was a lawyer specializing in consumer and education law.

Under her leadership, CU raised the funds for its National Testing and Research Center in Yonkers, NY, creating 50 state-of-the-art product-testing laboratories and created an auto test track in Connecticut, greatly expanding the amount of information provided to consumers. CU added considerably to its roster of publication and services, including Consumer Reports Online, with more than 900,000 subscribers.

In the 27 years of her presidency, CU’s advocacy on consumer issues expanded in Washington DC and grew in many directions, with new advocacy offices in California and Texas, and a special policy research institute in Yonkers. CU also expanded its advocacy on health and trade issues, and on issues affecting low and moderate income consumers. Ms. Karpatkin served two terms as President of Consumers International, an independent organization linking more than 220 member organizations in more than 100 countries.

Currently, Ms. Karpatkin serves as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations and the Committee on Trade and Environmental Policy. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, a consortium of consumer organizations in the US and European Union, formed to provide input to the two governments on trade and consumer policy. She is a member of various boards, including The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and on the advisory boards of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division and the Committee on Innovation of the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Ms. Karpatkin received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University in 1998 and the Alumna of the Year Award from the Brooklyn College Alumni Association in 1996. She is a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School.

List of Award Winners by Year

    • 2017: Janie Simms Hipp (Erin Parker presented), University of Arkansas School of Law, Food Sovereignty; Food Systems: The Role of Law & Policy in Driving Change in Indian Country
    • 2016: Vera Rita de Mello Ferreira, Economic Psychology and Consumers - Do We Always Choose What is Best for Us?
    • 2015: Sue McGregor, Mount Saint Vincent University, Reframing Perspectives for Consumer Work

    • 2013: George Cheriyan, CUTS, India, Consumer Protection Regimes Around the World with Special Reference to the State of the Indian Consumer

    • 2007: Pamela Chan, The Consumer World Across the Pacific

    • 2006: Marilena Lazzarini