Obama Selects Elisse Walter to Lead Securities and Exchange Commission
President Barack Obama has chosen Elisse Walter, one of five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to become chairman of the agency. Chairman Mary Schapiro will leave next month after a tumultuous tenure in which she helped lead the government’s regulatory response to the 2008 financial crisis.
Walter will take over at a critical time for the SEC, which is finalizing new rules in response to the 2008 financial crisis. She can serve through 2013 without Senate approval because she’s already been confirmed to the commission. A Democrat, she was appointed to the SEC in 2008 by President George W Bush.
Earlier, Walter was a senior official at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the securities industry’s self-policing organization. She served under Schapiro at Finra, who led the organization before becoming SEC chairman in January 2009.
“I’m confident that Elisse’s years of experience will serve her well in her new position, and I’m grateful she has agreed to help lead the agency,” Obama said in a statement.
Schapiro will leave the SEC on December 14. She was appointed by Obama in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. She also took over after the agency failed to detect the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.