SEC Continues Trend With Third Female Chief in a Row

Alden Wicker
Posted

From left: Former SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, departing Chairman Elisse Walter and incoming Chairman Mary Jo White

Investors may not trust women with their money as much as they trust men, but Obama certainly does.

On Thursday, President Obama appointed Mary Jo White to run the Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees and enforces regulations pertaining to stock exchanges and corporate reporting in the U.S.

She’ll be the first former prosecutor to head the agency since it was created 80 years ago, signaling that the White House wants to be tough on Wall Street wrongdoing.

White has an admirable résumé. She was the first woman to be named U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, the most prestigious federal prosecutor’s post, after which she she headed the litigation department at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for a decade.

Because of her previous work, The Wall Street Journal reports that she would be barred for two years by Obama’s ethics pledge from working on matters involving her former firm or any of her clients from the past two years. And her husband, a former top SEC official, now works at a law firm advising companies on SEC issues. She most likely wouldn’t be able to work on matters in which her husband is representing clients to the SEC. (Though she could probably tap him for some SEC know-how.)

White is the third woman to run the agency in the past year. Elisse Walter served as interim chairman while a permanent head was found to replace Mary Schapiro, who left in mid-December.

Looks like White will have better things to do than worry about bankrupting her femininity, as she pursues the bad guys of investing.

  • Alexandria Perrin

    As White has decades of experience, I don’t think she’ll need to tap her hubby for “SEC know-how.”