Mary Jo White

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Mary Jo White
Mary Jo White.jpg
Occupation Chairman
Employer SEC
Location Washington D.C.
Website http://www.sec.gov/

Mary Jo White is the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. President Obama nominated White for that position in January 2013 [1] and she was confirmed as SEC chair on April 8, 2013 by a unanimous vote. [2] She is the first person since Harvey Pitt to head the SEC directly after working as a Wall Street defense attorney.

Background

Before being confirmed as SEC chairman, White was a partner in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where she acted as the chairman of the law firm's litigation department. Her entire career has consisted of alternating between the public sector and Debevoise & Plimpton. After earning her law degree, she began as a law clerk in the Southern District of New York. From 1976-1978, she worked an associate at Debevoise. In 1978, she returned to the Southern District of New York as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, eventually becoming Chief Appellate Attorney of the Criminal Division.

In 1983, White returned to Debevoise as a litigation partner, focusing on white collar defense, where she remained until 1990, when she returned to the public sector as U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. From 1993 to 2002, she served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where she earned a reputation as an aggressive prosecutor of terrorists.[3]

White returned to Debevoise in 2002 to head the litigation department in New York and its 225 lawyers. Among her latest work related to Wall Street firms, she defended ex-Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis against shareholders who felt they were misled in the Merrill Lynch acquisition, and she also defended former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta in an insider trading scandal. Other recent clients include JPMorgan and the Morgan Stanley board.[4]

Education

White graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1970 with a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa. She earned an M.A. in Psychology in 1971 from the New School for Social Research and a J.D. in 1974 from Columbia Law School. While at Columbia, she was an officer of the Law Review.[5]

References

  1. Mary Jo White and the SEC: The right woman at the wrong time. CNN Money.
  2. Senate confirms former prosecutor Mary Jo White as SEC chairwoman. Los Angeles Times.
  3. Tough-as-Nails Prosecutor White to Tackle SEC Policy Stalemates. Bloomberg.
  4. Mary Jo White and the SEC: The right woman at the wrong time. CNN Money.
  5. Mary Jo White. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
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