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January 24, 2013

Mary Jo White to Be Named New S.E.C. Boss

President Obama is tapping Mary Jo White, a former United States attorney turned white collar defense lawyer, to be the next chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a White House official.”

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Regulatory chiefs are often market experts or academics. But Ms. White, now a partner at Debevoise and Plimpton, spent nearly a decade as the United States Attorney in New York, the first woman named to this post. Among her prominent cases, she oversaw the prosecution of John Gotti, the mafia boss, as well as the individuals responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

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“Some Democrats also might question her path through the revolving door, in and out of government. While seen as a strong enforcer at the United States Attorney’s office, she went on in private practice to defend some of Wall Street’s biggest names, including Ken Lewis, the former head of Bank of America.

Still, consumer advocates generally praised her appointment on Thursday. “Mary Jo White was a tough, smart, no nonsense, broadly experienced and highly accomplished prosecutor,” said Dennis Kelleher, head of Better Markets, the nonprofit advocacy group. “She knew who the bad guys were, went after them and put them in prison when they broke the law.”

The appointment follows the departure of Ms. Schapiro, who announced she would step down from the S.E.C. in late 2012. In a four-year tenure, she overhauled the agency after it was blamed for missing the warning signs of the crisis.”

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Read Ben Protess’s full New York Times article here

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