President Joe Biden has nominated Gary Gensler, professor at MIT Sloan School of Management and former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In his new role, Gensler will lead the SEC in its efforts to maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, to facilitate capital formation, and to protect investors and build public trust in the market. As chair, Gensler will oversee the commission's regulation of corporate takeovers and registration of financial services firms.
Gensler, a Democrat, has spent a significant portion of his career working in government. Most recently, he led Biden’s transition team in its planning of financial industry oversight. As chairman of the CFTC from 2009 to 2014, Gensler took a strong approach to regulating swaps trading following the 2008 financial crisis.
Gensler has extensive experience aside from his work with the CFTC. Gensler was a senior advisor to U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes in writing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. During the Clinton administration, he served in posts as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance. Gensler was awarded Treasury’s highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award, for his service. He currently is Professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of MIT’s Fintech@CSAIL.
Gensler's work with the CFTC has given him a reputation as a tough regulator, and he is likely to please progressives with a hard-nosed approach to Wall Street. He is viewed as likely to advance rules that address key Democratic policies including social justice and climate change, including requiring greater corporate disclosure about the risks related to climate change.
Early Career and Education
Gensler holds an undergraduate degree and MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He began his career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS).