On Friday, Kara Stein was officially sworn in as the newest commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission, replacing former Commissioner Elisse Walter.
President Barack Obama nominated Stein to the SEC on May 23 and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 1, along with that of Dr. Michael Piwowar, who is expected to be sworn into office as an SEC Commissioner this week to replacing the outgoing Troy Parades.
Stein previously was legal counsel and senior policy Adviser to Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island. From 2009 to 2013, she was staff director of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment.
Before working on Capitol Hill, Stein was an associate at the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and an assistant professor with the University of Dayton School of Law. She was an Advocacy Fellow with the Georgetown University Law Center from 1993 to 1995, and was a visiting lecturer with the University of Nigeria Faculty of Law from 1989 to 1990. She earned degrees from Yale College and Yale Law School.
In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, Chairman Mary Jo White praised the efforts of outgoing commissioners Walter and Paredes.
Walter's dedication to the agency, which she joined in 1977 as a staff attorney, “made her one of the most respected people to grace the halls of the institution,” White said. As a commissioner, Walter, a Democrat, was “a forceful and articulate advocate for investors,” as evidenced by her leadership role in demanding greater transparency and more timely disclosure in the $3.7 trillion market U.S. municipal securities market.
As Chairman, bridging the gap between White and former chair Mary Schapiro, Walter led the SEC's efforts to reconcile U.S. regulation of derivatives with regulations adopted overseas, and was instrumental in advancing the Commission's efforts to reform money market funds.
Parades, a Republican appointee, was praised “as a committed proponent of rigorous analysis of the costs and benefits of our securities regulations.” White also praised him as “a major contributor in the area of corporate governance, including executive compensation and the relationship between corporate boards and shareholders.”