President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced his intention to nominate candidates for commissioner openings at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on both sides of the aisle.
Jaime Lizárraga was announced as the nominee to fill the Democratic opening that will be vacated upon the planned departure of Allison Herren Lee this summer, while Mark Uyeda is the candidate to assume the Republican vacancy that has existed since Elad Roisman left the agency in January.
The SEC currently has two other Democratic commissioners—Chairman Gary Gensler and Caroline Crenshaw—and one Republican in Hester Peirce. The agency must not have more than three commissioners belong to the same political party.
Lizárraga currently serves as senior adviser to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a role he has held for 14 years. Pelosi in a statement lauded him for his dedicated work during that time, including his contributions to the Dodd-Frank Act passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
“President Biden’s nomination of Jaime Lizárraga to serve as SEC commissioner is an appointment of a devoted champion of working families and a lifelong public servant,” said Pelosi. “As commissioner, Jaime will be a force in safeguarding the interests of the investing public, improving transparency in our financial markets, and building a more equitable financial future for all.”
Lizárraga has previous regulator experience, working as a presidential appointee at the Department of the Treasury and the SEC, the White House noted.
Uyeda is a career attorney with the SEC, currently serving as securities counsel for the minority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. He joined the SEC in 2006 and previously worked as senior adviser to former Chairman Jay Clayton.
“Mark Uyeda is exceptionally qualified to serve as an SEC commissioner,” said Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in a statement. “Having personally worked with Mark during his time as an SEC attorney detailed to the Senate Banking Committee, I know firsthand that Mark’s depth of knowledge on securities and markets is unrivaled. Beyond his sterling credentials and expertise, Mark is a smart, fair, diligent, and humble colleague. The committee’s loss will be the SEC’s gain should he be confirmed to faithfully carry out the SEC’s narrow statutory mandates.”
Both nominations will need to be approved by the Senate.