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Mary Schapiro

Mary Schapiro

Mary Schapiro, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced her resignation on Monday.

According to The New York Times, the SEC informed the White House and Treasury Department that Schapiro planned to leave next month, becoming the first major departure from the Obama administration’s team of financial regulators.

Schapiro will also relinquish her position as one of the five members of the agency’s commission, the group that oversees Wall Street and the broader financial markets.

“I want to express my deep gratitude to Mary Schapiro for her steadfast leadership at the Securities and Exchange Commission,” President Obama said in a statement. “When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the SEC and our economy as a whole. But she accepted the challenge, and today, the SEC is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people – thanks in large part to Mary’s hard work.”

Obama added that he will designate Elisse Walter as SEC Chairman following Schapiro’s departure. Walter is currently commissioner of the SEC and served as acting director before Schapiro’s appointment.

Schapiro’s bio:

Mary L. Schapiro is the 29th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chairman Schapiro was appointed by President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in on January 27, 2009. She is the first woman to serve as the agency’s permanent Chairman.

Over the course of Chairman Schapiro’s tenure, the SEC has brought a record number of enforcement actions; pursued scores of individuals and entities in connection with the financial crisis; put in place a series of measures to help reduce the likelihood of another flash crash; obtained significant responsibilities for derivatives, hedge funds and credit rating agencies as a result of financial reform legislation; and underwent a comprehensive restructuring to become more effective in its investor protection mission.

Prior to becoming SEC Chairman, she was CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) — the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public. Chairman Schapiro joined the organization in 1996 as President of NASD Regulation, and was named Vice Chairman in 2002. In 2006, she was named NASD’s Chairman and CEO. The following year, she led the organization’s consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA.

Chairman Schapiro previously served as a Commissioner of the SEC from December 1988 to October 1994. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, reappointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, and named Acting Chairman by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She left the SEC when President Clinton appointed her Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served until 1996.

Chairman Schapiro is an active member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). She was Chairman of the IOSCO SRO Consultative Committee from 2002 to 2006.

A 1977 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., Chairman Schapiro earned a Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from George Washington University in 1980. Chairman Schapiro was named the Financial Women’s Association Public Sector Woman of the Year in 2000. She received a Visionary Award from the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) in 2008, honoring her as a “champion of economic empowerment.”