New SEC Chairman Shapiro vows to protect investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sworn in Mary L. Schapiro as the 29th Chairman of the SEC. "Seventy-five years after this great agency was founded, the SEC must play a critical role in rebuilding investor confidence, reviving our markets, and rejuvenating our economy," said Chairman Schapiro. "I'm honored and grateful to be entrusted with leading this agency during such an important time – when the SEC must effusively be the investor's advocate. Working with my fellow commissioners and the agency's talented staff, we will be committed to reinvigorating a financial regulatory system that must protect investors and vigorously enforce the rules. We will work to deepen the SEC's commitment to transparency, accountability, and disclosure while always keeping the needs and concerns of investors front and center.”

Chairman Schapiro was appointed by President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She is the first woman to serve as the agency's permanent Chairman.

Chairman Schapiro previously served as a Commissioner at the SEC from December 1988 to October 1994. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, reappointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, and named acting chairman by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She left the SEC when President Clinton appointed her Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served until 1996.

Immediately prior to her new SEC appointment, Chairman Schapiro was CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public. She joined the organization in 1996 as President of NASD Regulation, and was named Vice Chairman in 2002. In 2006, she was named NASD's Chairman and CEO. The following year, she led the organization's consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA.

Chairman Schapiro is an active member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). She was Chairman of the IOSCO SRO Consultative Committee from 2002 to 2006.

A 1977 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, Chairman Schapiro earned a Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from George Washington University in 1980. Chairman Schapiro was named the Financial Women's Association Public Sector Woman of the Year in 2000. She received a Visionary Award from the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) in 2008, honoring her as a "champion of economic empowerment."

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