Frustrated CFTC Commissioner steps down, other agencies staff up

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is losing a long-time member after she publically aired her frustrations. Meanwhile, history may be repeating with a potential nomination to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CFTC Commissioner Sharon Bowen announced her decision to step down at a June 20 meeting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Risk Advisory Committee.

“Why am I doing this? The answer is simple: because, since the departure of former Chairman Timothy Massad, the work of this agency has been hampered by only having a two-person Commission when we should be a five-person Commission,” she said. “In fact, we have not been a five-person Commission since the departure of Commissioner Scott O’Malia in August 2014.”

“Having just two Commissioners makes routine business difficult, but makes important policy decisions almost impossible,” she added. “Without a full complement of commissioners to consider the far-reaching implications of our decisions, we are frozen in place while the markets we regulate are moving faster every day. This fact is intolerable to me… My hope is thus that by leaving early, I can inspire the key decision-makers to confirm four nominees as soon as possible.”

Bowen, who has served on the Commission since 2014, expressed her admiration for the work the agency does and the leadership of Acting Chairman Christopher Giancarlo, nominated by President Trump to be full chairman.

“This is definitely a bittersweet decision. But as much as I relish my role as Commissioner, I believe that my leaving within the next few months is best for this agency,” she said.

Bowen did not announce an exact date for her departure.

Meanwhile, published media reports are fueling rumors that Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a free market think tank, may soon be nominated by the Trump Administration as an SEC commissioner.

Peirce, a prominent critic of the Dodd-Frank Act, was unsuccessfully nominated for the same post by President Obama. Among the reasons she failed to gain the support of Senate Democrats was a refusal to support potential SEC rulemaking that would mandate the disclosures of political contributions by public companies.

Peirce previously served on the staff of the Senate Banking Committee and was a staff attorney with the SEC from 2000 to 2008.

June 20, the SEC did beef up its staff, announcing that Robert Evans III has been named deputy director in the agency’s Division of Corporation Finance. He will join Deputy Director Shelley Parratt as a senior advisor to the division’s director, William H. Hinman.

Most recently,Evans worked at Shearman & Sterling as a partner in the firm’s capital markets practice. He has experience advising on public and private offerings, securities law compliance, and corporate governance.

Evans received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and law degree from Boston University School of Law, both cum laude.

“For over 20 years, Rob has been a leading voice on a wide range of issues relating to how investors and companies interact in the public and private markets, and we are excited to have him join the team here at the SEC,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement.

Recent nominations by the Trump Administration include Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat from of Connecticut, to serve as a member of the Federal Communications Commission.

Rosenworcel was recently a Commissioner at the FCC from 2012 until January 2017. Previously, she was the senior communications counsel for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, working for Senator Jay Rockefeller IV from 2009 to 2011, and Senator Daniel Inouye from 2007 to 2008.

Before joining the Committee, Rosenworcel worked at the Federal Communications Commission from 1999 to 2007, serving as legal advisor and then senior legal advisor to Commissioner Michael Copps.

From 1997 to 1999, she was a communications associate at Drinker Biddle and Reath. She received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

If confirmed, Isabel Marie Keenan Patelunas of Virginia will serve as assistant secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of the Treasury.

Patelunas is a member of the Senior Intelligence Service at the Central Intelligence Agency, where she has served since 1989.

James Clinger of Pennsylvania has been nominated to be a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for a term of six years and to be chairman for a term of five years, effective November 29, 2017. 

Clinger was most recently currently the Chief Counsel for the House Committee on Financial Services, having held the position since 2007. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General from 2005 to 2007. 

Prior to service at the Department of Justice, Clinger served as senior banking counsel for the House Committee on Financial Services from 2001 to 2005, and as assistant staff director from 1995 to 2001. Before entering public service, he was a litigation attorney at the firm Sutherland Asbill and Brennan from 1987 to 1995.

Clinger graduated from University of Virginia with a BA in 1983 and a JD in 1987.