Christopher Cox

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Christopher Cox
Occupation Chairman
Employer U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Location Washington, DC, USA

Christopher Cox was chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from August 2005 to January 2009. He resigned after President Barack Obama nominated Mary Schapiro to head the agency. [1] [2]


Cox, a conservative Republican congressman from California, was appointed by President Bush in June 2005 after the surprise resignation of William Donaldson, whom Bush had installed to help restore confidence in the stock market after a wave of corporate scandals in 2002. Cox was unanimously confirmed by the Senate a month later, and sworn in as the 28th chairman of the SEC on August 3, 2005. He is one of five SEC commissioners.

Prior to the SEC, Cox served in the U.S. House of Representatives. For 10 of those 17 years, he served in the Majority Leadership of the House. He was chairman of the House Policy Committee; chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security; chairman of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security; chairman of the Select Committee on Homeland Security (the predecessor to the permanent House Committee); chairman of the Task Force on Capital Markets; and chairman of the Task Force on Budget Process Reform.

In addition, Cox served in a leadership capacity as a senior member of every committee with jurisdiction over investor protection and U.S. capital markets. Among significant laws he authored were the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, which protects investors from fraudulent lawsuits, and the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which protects Internet users from multiple and discriminatory taxation. His legislative efforts to eliminate the double tax on shareholder dividends — the subject of his thesis while at Harvard University in 1977 — led to the enactment in May 2003 of legislation that cut the double tax by more than half.

Cox served from 1986 until 1988 in the White House as Senior Associate Counsel to the President. In that role, he advised the President on a wide range of matters, including the nomination of three U.S. Supreme Court Justices, reform of the federal budget process, and the 1987 stock market crash.

From 1978 to 1986, he specialized in venture capital and corporate finance with the international law firm of Latham & Watkins. He took a leave of absence from the firm for a year to teach federal income tax at Harvard Business School. From 1977-1978, he was law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Herbert Choy.


In 1977, Cox simultaneously received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He received a B.A. from the University of Southern California in 1973, graduating magna cum laude after pursuing an accelerated three-year course.