Bart Chilton

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Bart Chilton
Bart Chilton.jpg
Occupation Former CFTC Commissioner
Location Washington, D.C.

The late Bartholomew H. "Bart" Chilton was a senior policy advisor for DLA Piper, a global law firm specializing in business law and government policy, and a former CFTC commissioner. He died on April 27, 2019 at the age of 58 of complications from pancreatic cancer. [1][2][3][4]

He joined DLA Piper in April 2014 after a 30-year career in government service, most recently as one of the five commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.[5] [6] He served as a senior policy adviser in the firm’s Washington office, reuniting with former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), whom he served under as a senior aide from 2001–2005.

During his years at the CFTC, Chilton was a frequent critic of HFT, which he nicknamed "cheetahs."

The CFTC Years

Bart Chilton was sworn in as CFTC Commissioner in August 2007 and was reconfirmed for another term by the Senate in October 2009 along with Jill Sommers and Scott O'Malia.[7]

He left the agency in March 2014. He had announced in November 2013 that he would be stepping down from the agency in the "not too distant future." [8] [9]

As a CFTC commissioner he was an outspoken critic of the financial industry and of Wall Street's influence over policy.[10] He advocated further regulations for high-frequency traders, which he nicknamed “cheetahs” because of their speed, [11] saying that they were "part and parcel" of the Flash Crash on May 6, 2010 when the Dow lost nearly 1,000 points before recovering.[12]

Chilton has also been an outspoken proponent of position limits for futures markets.[13] He also has been a champion for traders who believe the gold and silver markets are being manipulated.


Before joining the CFTC, Chilton was the chief of staff and vice president for government relations at the National Farmers Union, one of the oldest and largest U.S. trade associations.

In 2005, Chilton was a Schedule C political appointee of President George W. Bush at the U.S. Farm Credit Administration where he served as an executive assistant to the board. From 2001-2005, he was a senior advisor to Senator Tom Daschle, Democrat leader of the U.S. Senate, where he worked on issues including, but not limited to, agriculture and transportation policy.

From 1995-2001, Chilton was a Schedule C political appointee of President Clinton where he rose to deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. In this role, he became a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), government executives selected for their leadership qualifications to serve in the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees. As an SES member, Chilton served as a major link between Secretary Glickman and the rest of the federal work force at USDA.

From 1985-1995, he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as legislative director for three different members of Congress on Capitol Hill. He also worked in the U.S. House as the executive director of the bipartisan Congressional Rural Caucus.

Chilton previously served on the board of directors of Bion Environmental Technologies, and the Association of Family Farms – where he also served on the executive committee and as treasurer.


Chilton attended Purdue University (1979-1982), studying political science and communications and was a collegiate leader of several organizations. He left Purdue one semester short of graduation to work on Democratic campaigns that included the 1984 failed presidential run of Walter Mondale.[14]



  1. About. DLA Piper.
  2. Former U.S. CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton Dies at Age 58. Bloomberg.
  3. Bart Chilton, former CFTC commissioner, 1960-2019; Flamboyant, folksy image signalled his identification with the ‘little man’. FT.
  4. Bart Chilton, former CFTC commissioner and high-frequency trading critic, is dead at 58. CNBC.
  5. Commissioner Bart Chilton. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  6. Ex-CFTC regulator Chilton joins DLA Piper law firm. Reuters.
  7. U.S. Senate confirms three nominees to CFTC. Reuters.
  8. CFTC's Chilton to Step Down. Fox Business.
  9. Chilton Says He'll Leave U.S. Swaps Overseer Next Week. Bloomberg.
  10. Regulator who sparred with Wall Street joins DLA Piper. The Hill.
  11. Regulator Seeks Oversight of 'Cheetah' Traders. The New York Times.
  12. "Caging the Financial Cheetahs". CFTC.
  13. He Who Makes the Rules. Washington Monthly.
  14. CFTC's Energy-Industry Gadfly Gets His Way. Wall Street Journal.