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President Obama Nominates Mary Jo White as New SEC Chair

In January, President Obama nominated Mary Jo White to serve as the Chair of the SEC. Ms. White currently is a partner and chair of the litigation department of Debevoise & Plimpton where she has often defended big financial services firms. She previously served as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York where she prosecuted complex white collar crimes and international terrorism cases. There has been speculation that with her history as a prosecutor, Ms. White's appointment may result in an increased focus on enforcement at the SEC.

Ms. White's confirmation hearing was held on March 12, 2013. While she faced no opposition at the hearing, Ms. White was pressed on the importance of completing Dodd-Frank financial regulation and fighting financial fraud. Additionally, Ms. White suggested that, if confirmed, she would address the issue of money market fund reform. On March 19, 2013, the Senate Banking Committee voted 21-to-1 in favor of sending her nomination to the full Senate for a vote.

Sources: Peter Ortiz, Former SEC Chair: Mary Jo White 'Excellent' Choice, Ignites, January 24, 2013; Peter Ortiz, Industry Welcomes 'Tough' Prosecutor to Head SEC, Ignites, January 25, 2013; Dina ElBoghdady, Mary Jo White Faces No Opposition at SEC Confirmation Hearing, Washington Post, March 12, 2013; Ben Protess, Dismissing Concerns, Panel Backs White's S.E.C. Nomination, Dealbook, March 19, 2013.

Copyright © 2020 Godfrey & Kahn S.C.National Law Review, Volume III, Number 103

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