The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a female majority board with the swearing in of Commissioners Caroline Crenshaw and Hester Peirce on Monday.
Crenshaw had been nominated in June by President Donald Trump to fill the seat of Robert Jackson Jr., who resigned from the SEC on Feb. 14. Crenshaw had previously served as counsel to Jackson. She fills one of two Democratic seats on the Commission, and her term will expire June 5, 2024, according to an SEC press release.
Crenshaw, who has worked in various positions at the SEC since 2013, has focused on “legal and policy analysis related to corporate governance, investment management, enforcement, international regulation, and the oversight of self-regulatory organizations,” the White House said in its nomination.
Peirce, who has been an SEC commissioner since 2018, fills a term that expires on June 5, 2025. Both Crenshaw and Peirce were unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 6.
The five-member SEC now has a full membership, with Chairman Jay Clayton (Independent) and Commissioners Allison Herren Lee (Democrat) and Elad Roisman (Republican).
The last time the SEC had a majority of female members was from 2009-11 under President Barack Obama, when Chairwoman Mary Schapiro served with Commissioners Kathleen Casey and Elisse Walter, according to the SEC’s historical summary.
“On behalf of all my colleagues, I am pleased to congratulate Caroline and Hester on being sworn in as SEC commissioners,” Clayton said in a statement. “Caroline brings to the Commission a deep knowledge of the SEC and its work on behalf of America’s investors and I look forward to seeing her expertise further benefit the Commission’s work. As a Commissioner, Hester has been a tremendous advocate for our markets and investors, and I know she will continue to be a strong voice for them in the years to come.”
There is still potential for further shakeup of the Commission, as Clayton has been nominated by the Trump administration to become the next U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of New York. That nomination has been controversial, however, and a confirmation hearing has not yet been scheduled in the U.S. Senate. Two Democratic Senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have indicated they intend to use a parliamentary maneuver to block Clayton’s nomination.
Crenshaw, a captain in the United States Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, has served in the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, the Division of Investment Management, and as counsel to both Jackson and former Commissioner Kara Stein. Crenshaw previously practiced law at Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, where she represented public companies, broker-dealers, and investment advisers on complex securities law investigations and enforcement matters.
Prior to rejoining the SEC in 2018, Peirce conducted research on the regulation of financial markets at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She was a senior counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, where she advised Ranking Member Richard Shelby and other members of the Committee on securities issues. Previously, Peirce served as counsel to SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins. She also worked as a staff attorney in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management.
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