Biden selects Allison Herren Lee for SEC acting chair
President Biden on Thursday appointed Allison Herren Lee to serve as acting chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Lee, a Democrat, has been tapped to lead the investment industry regulator until the Senate confirms Gary Gensler, a Democrat who Biden will nominate for chairman. Lee was appointed to the SEC by former President Trump and confirmed by the Senate in July 2019.
“It’s an honor to continue my service on the Commission in this new role,” Lee said in a Thursday statement. “I have tremendous respect for my colleagues on the Commission and the exceptional staff across the agency, and look forward to working closely with them. Together we will continue the agency’s work of protecting investors and ensuring market integrity.”
Lee will replace Elad Roisman as the SEC’s acting chief. Roisman, a Republican commissioner, was appointed by Trump to serve as acting chairman following the December resignation of former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.
Democrats will take control of the SEC if the Senate confirms Gensler as chairman. The agency is currently split between two Democrats, Lee and Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw, and two Republicans, Roisman and Commissioner Hester Peirce.
Gensler served as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) during the Obama administration and is expected to push the SEC into tighter regulation of Wall Street.
The SEC is one of several powerful financial regulators where Biden can quickly make a mark before his full-time nominees are confirmed.
Biden on Wednesday designated Dave Uejio as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) pending the confirmation of full-time nominee Rohit Chopra.
Once Biden designates an acting chief of the Office Comptroller of the Currency, Democratic appointees will have a majority on the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which includes the CFPB director and Comptroller of the Currency as members.
CFTC Commissioner Heath Tarbert (R) announced his resignation as chairman Thursday, allowing Biden to appoint an acting chief. Biden also appointed Rebecca Slaughter as acting chair of the Federal Trade Commission, where she’s served as a commissioner since May 2018.