By Peter Schroeder - 04/02/13 01:16 PM EDT
She spent the vast bulk of her three-decade career as a regulator, and ended up leading not just the SEC, but also the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
She was tapped to take over the SEC at a low point for the agency, after it came under fierce criticism for failing to sniff out financial bad behavior in the lead up to the financial crisis, including missing out on the massive Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernie Madoff.
With Schapiro at the helm, the SEC worked to reestablish its reputation; she also spent much of her tenure implementing a slew of new rules brought on by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
However, financial regulators including the SEC are still facing criticism that they have failed to bring enough bad actors on Wall Street to justice in the wake of the massive financial meltdown.
Schapiro told the Journal that during her time at the SEC, she "felt that we accomplished an enormous amount" and left the agency "much stronger and more resilient."
Schapiro stepped down from the Wall Street watchdog in December, after leading the embattled agency through President Obama's first term. SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter is leading the agency currently, as the president's nominee, Mary Jo White, awaits confirmation. White is expected to be confirmed by the Senate sometime in the near future.