Paul Watkins is a senior legal fellow at Consumers’ Research and managing partner and founder of Fusion Law, a fintech-focused law firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. Prior to launching Fusion in 2022, he was a senior advisor at Patomak Global Partners, a Washington-based fintech consulting firm founded by Paul Atkins. Watkins is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council‘s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force and holds an unknown position with Heritage Action for America.
During the Trump administration, Mick Mulvaney, the former chief of staff and Office of Management and Budget director who was serving as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), appointed Watkins as assistant director of CFPB’s Office of Innovation, which was largely created to help fintech firms evade consumer protection laws. That prompted intense public scrutiny of his anti-consumer policies when 80 consumer and civil rights organizations accused Waktins of rolling back the enforcement of consumer protections. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other congressional representatives called for his removal from the CFPB when it became clear that he had worked as a senior legal counsel for the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
Earlier in his career, Watkins also worked at the Arizona attorney general’s office and clerked for a federal circuit court judge. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College, a conservative Christian college in Michigan, and a law degree from Harvard.
- Spoke on the “ABCs of ESG and How You Can Fight It” for Florida policymakers and staff at an “emerging issues” event organized by the James Madison Institute (3/20/23)
- Delivered a special briefing on ESG for Heritage Action for America (3/14/23)
- Spoke on “fighting ESG efforts on [sic] the state level” as part of a “Defeating ESG” panel at the 2023 Climate Change Conference hosted by The Heartland Institute along with Jason Isaac of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (2/24/23)
- Participated in a “War on Energy—ESG” discussion with West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore in a closed-door Energy, Environment and Agriculture task force meeting at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (7/28/22)