Three in a row: third female SEC chief appointed

President Obama shakes hands with Mary Jo White

President Barack Obama and Mary Jo White at the White House. Photo:Carolyn Kaster/AP


On Thursday, President Obama appointed Mary Jo White to run the Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees and enforces regulations pertaining to stock exchanges and corporate reporting in the U.S. She’ll be the first former prosecutor to head the agency since it was created 80 years ago, signaling that the White House wants to be tough on Wall Street wrongdoing.

Because of her previous work, The Wall Street Journal reports that she would be barred for two years by Obama’s ethics pledge from working on matters involving her former firm or any of her clients from the past two years. And her husband, a former top SEC official, now works at a law firm advising companies on SEC issues. She most likely wouldn’t be able to work on matters in which her husband is representing clients to the SEC. (Though she could probably tap him for some SEC know-how.)

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