Elisse B. Walter was appointed Commissioner by President George W. Bush and was sworn in on July 9, 2008. She was later designated the 30th Chairman of the SEC by President Barack Obama, and she served as the agency's leader from December 2012 to April 2013. She served as Acting Chairman in January 2009.
Prior to her appointment as an SEC Commissioner, Ms. Walter served as Senior Executive Vice President, Regulatory Policy & Programs, for FINRA. She held the same position at NASD before its 2007 consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation.
Ms. Walter coordinated policy issues across FINRA and oversaw a number of departments including Investment Company Regulation, Member Education and Training, Investor Education and Emerging Regulatory Issues. She also served on the Board of Directors of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
Prior to joining NASD, Ms. Walter served as the General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Before joining the CFTC in 1994, Ms. Walter was the Deputy Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She served on the SEC's staff beginning in 1977, both in that Division and in the Office of the General Counsel. Before joining the SEC, Ms. Walter was an attorney with a private law firm.
Ms. Walter is a member of the Academy of Women Achievers of the YWCA of the City of New York and the inaugural class of the ABA's DirectWomen Institute. She also has received, among other honors, the Presidential Rank Award (Distinguished), the ASECA William O. Dougalas Award, the SEC Chairman's Award for Excellence, the SEC's Distinguished Service Award, and the Federal Bar Association's Philip Loomis and Manuel F. Cohen Younger Lawyer Awards.
She graduated from Yale University with a B.A., cum laude, in mathematics and received her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Ms. Walter is married to Ronald Alan Stern, and they have two sons and a daugter-in-law, Jonathan, Evan, and Grace So.
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