President Obama nominated Mary Jo White to serve as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to reports.
White is known for her work as a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, a position she held from 1993 to 2002. So far, she is the only woman to hold that particular role. During her time as a U.S. attorney, White served as a prosecutor in international terrorism cases, as well as complex white collar cases. She is currently a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.
In a release, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said, ""As U.S. Attorney, Ms. White demonstrated a strong commitment to aggressively enforcing one set of rules for all,
and her outstanding record of bringing white collar criminals to justice speaks for itself. She is a tough, experienced prosecutor, which is exactly what the SEC needs right now to restore investor confidence.""
In November, former SEC chairman Mary L. Schapiro announced she would be stepping down, and Elisse Walter, who had served as an SEC Commissioner since 2008, took over her role. White will replace Walter if her appointment is confirmed by the Senate.
Obama also renominated Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Cordray's recess appointment by Obama on January 4, 2012, was a subject of controversy, with Republicans arguing the appointment was not constitutional and that Congress was actually not in recess at the time of his appointment.
""For more than a year, we have been focused on making consumer finance markets work better for the American people,"" said Cordray in a statement. We approach this work with open minds, open ears, and great determination. We all thank you and the Congress for the opportunity and the honor to serve our country in this important way.""