The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will feature its “most diverse set of commissioners in the agency’s history” after the confirmation of four nominees to vacant board seats Monday.
The Senate unanimously approved the appointments of Christy Goldsmith Romero, Kristin Johnson, Summer Mersinger, and Caroline Pham to serve as commissioners at the derivatives market regulator. Romero and Johnson fill Democratic openings, while Mersinger and Pham are Republicans.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, lauded the historical significance of the appointments.
“This confirmation makes history because all four nominees are women, three of whom are women of color,” said Stabenow in a press release. “I look forward to working with each of them to ensure our financial markets are protected and work for all Americans. This is great news for the Commission, which will be brought back to full strength.”
The CFTC was set to be down to one commissioner, Chairman Rostin Behnam, with Republican Dawn DeBerry Stump electing not to seek another five-year appointment when her current term ends in April. A nomination hearing for the four women incoming was held earlier this month.
“The Senate’s swift, unanimous confirmation of these four nominees shows that they are highly qualified to serve as CFTC commissioners. I congratulate them on their confirmations and look forward to working with them to ensure the traditional and emerging markets under the CFTC’s jurisdiction operate in a fair and transparent manner,” said Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), ranking member of the Senate committee.
Behnam has acknowledged on multiple occasions his desire to see diversity increased at all levels at the CFTC. “The confirmation of these four accomplished professionals means that the CFTC has the most diverse set of commissioners in the agency’s history,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “… The American people will be well served by having a full commission that can openly debate significant policy issues in an ever-changing derivatives and financial landscape.”
At the time of nomination, Romero was special inspector general for the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Johnson was a law professor at Emory University in Atlanta, where she specialized in financial markets risk management law and policy.
Mersinger served as Stump’s chief of staff at the CFTC since December 2020, previously working more than a year as director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the agency. Pham was a managing director at Citi, where she previously worked as global head of compliance and deputy head of global regulatory affairs.