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Obama picks top white-collar crime prosecutor for SEC job
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, tapping an attorney with broad experience in prosecuting white-collar crimes to lead an agency that has a central role in implementing Wall Street reform. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama announced White’s nomination during a ceremony in the State Dining Room yesterday afternoon.
“She’s got an incredibly impressive resume,” Carney said. “The president is very pleased to be able to nominate her.” At the same event, Obama will renominate Richard Cordray to serve as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a White House official said. The president used a recess appointment last year to circumvent Congress and install Cordray as head of the bureau. That appointment expires at the end of this year.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the nomination before the president announces it. White spent nearly a decade as the US attorney in Manhattan, building a reputation as a tough prosecutor with an expertise in pursuing white-collar crimes and complex securities and financial fraud cases. White House officials say that experience makes her well-positioned to implement Obama’s Wall Street reform legislation.
While serving as US attorney, White also won convictions related to the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. If confirmed by the Senate, White would take over the helm at the SEC from Elisse Walter, who is serving out the rest of former SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro’s term. Schapiro resigned in December.
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