The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced two appointments to its Division of Data designed to help the agency leverage analytics and emerging technologies to improve its policymaking and oversight efforts.
The CFTC named Ted Kaouk chief data officer and director of the division, while John Coughlan will serve as the agency’s first chief data scientist. The moves are in line with actions taken by other U.S. agencies to increase their data analytics capabilities.
“The massive shifts in financial markets driven by advances in technology put the CFTC at the center of a new era of financial data, empowering us to more efficiently and effectively execute our mission,” said CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam in a press release Thursday. “With these new critical hires, the CFTC is upskilling our data science staff and increasing capacity and capability to be at the forefront of market innovations. We now have the team in place to set a strategy with concrete benchmarks and a clear path forward.”
The CFTC’s Division of Data was established in 2020. It is responsible for the agency’s enterprise data strategy and data governance approaches.
In his role, Kaouk will spearhead data integration and collaboration initiatives to help the agency make informed policy decisions. He previously served as chief data officer at the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Agriculture.
Coughlan will “expand the agency’s use of artificial intelligence to more effectively oversee the derivatives markets and meet its own regulatory requirements,” the CFTC said in its release. He has been with the CFTC for eight years in data science and analytical roles and has similar previous experience with Booz Allen Hamilton, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice are among other agencies investing in data analytics, with an official at the latter recently saying it would “double down” on such efforts.