President Obama nominates Mary Jo White as SEC Chairman

Since December 2012 the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that several key regulators would be leaving including Mary Shapiro, the agency’s chairman, three division heads, general counsel and the chief of staff.  

Now it is time to rebuild the agency.  On January 24, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White.  Ms. White was the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan and may be best known for successfully prosecuting terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial and helped prosecute crime boss John Gotti.  She has served as a director of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange and served on its executive, audit and policy committees. Also of note, Ms. White has represented numerous individuals and corporations facing SEC enforcement proceedings. 

Mr. Obama said “It’s not enough to change the law.  We also need cops on the beat to enforce the law,” leading to speculation that the choice of Ms. White may be a signal that the President is looking for the SEC to be more aggressive about enforcement. 

President Obama’s remarks during press conference: