Business, Economics and Jobs

Mary Jo White, former federal prosecutor, to be nominated for SEC chairwoman


Mary Jo White in May 2001, speaking about the guilty verdicts in the trial of four Osama bin Laden followers who bombed two US embassies in East Africa. Then US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, White headed the prosecution team which found the four guilty on all 302 counts.



President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, to be the next chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Obama is expected to nominate her later today in a press conference in which he will also nominate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray for another term.

More from GlobalPost: SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro to step down

White, the first and only woman to serve as US attorney for the Southern District of New York, earned a reputation for being a tough prosecutor, overseeing the prosecution of mafia boss John Gotti and the men behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the New York Times reported.

For the past decade, she’s been a white-collar defense lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton, the New York Times reported.

That might not sit well with some of the Democrats who’ll be asked to approve her nomination, the New York Times reported. Among the prominent Wall Street executives she’s defended are members of the board of Morgan Stanley and Kenneth D. Lewis, a former head of Bank of America.

White House officials said White’s nomination is designed to send a signal that the Obama administration plans to get stricter with Wall Street, the New York Times.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. White would be the first former prosecutor to head the agency in its more than 80-year history.

“The president believes that appointment and the renomination he’s making today demonstrate the commitment he has to carrying out Wall Street reform, making sure we have the rules of the road that are necessary and that are being enforced in a way” to avoid a crisis like that of 2008, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said, according to the New York Times.