The State of the Municipal Securities Markets —
SEC Staff Biographies
Mary L. Schapiro is the 29th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chairman Schapiro's priorities at the SEC include reinvigorating a financial regulatory system that must protect investors and vigorously enforce the rules; and working to deepen the SEC's commitment to transparency, accountability, and disclosure. Prior to becoming SEC Chairman, she was CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public. She was also Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and served as a Commissioner of the SEC.
Ms. Walter was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was sworn in on July 9, 2008. Under designation by President Barack Obama, she served as Acting Chairman during 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. She served on the staffs of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 1977 to 1986. 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.
Luis A. Aguilar is a Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was sworn in on July 31, 2008. Commissioner Aguilar represents the Commission as its liaison to both the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and to the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas (COSRA). He has served as the primary sponsor of the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee. Prior to his appointment as an SEC Commissioner, Mr. Aguilar was a partner with the international law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, specializing in securities law. Commissioner Aguilar's previous experience also includes serving as the general counsel, executive vice president, and corporate secretary of INVESCO, with responsibility for all legal and compliance matters regarding INVESCO Institutional. During his career, his practice included matters pertaining to general corporate and business law, international transactions, investment companies and investment advisers, securities law, and corporate finance.
Commissioner Paredes was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was sworn in on August 1, 2008.
Before joining the SEC, Commissioner Paredes was a tenured professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. He also held a courtesy appointment at Washington University's Olin Business School. Commissioner Paredes primarily taught and researched in the areas of securities regulation and corporate governance.
During his tenure as a professor, Commissioner Paredes made presentations around the country on securities law and corporate governance, and he served as an expert on various legal matters. In addition, Commissioner Paredes has researched and written on numerous topics such as executive compensation; hedge funds; private placements; the allocation of control within firms among directors, officers, and shareholders; the psychology of corporate and regulatory decision making; behavioral finance; alternative methods of regulation and market-based approaches to corporate accountability and securities regulation; comparative corporate governance, including the development of corporate governance and securities law systems in emerging markets; and the law and business of commercializing innovation. Commissioner Paredes's scholarly work, among other things, has advocated for rigorous cost-benefit analysis when regulating and emphasized the need for accessible and understandable disclosures that investors can use effectively.
As a professor, Commissioner Paredes has authored articles addressing these topics, and he is also a co-author (beginning with the 4th edition) of a multi-volume securities regulation treatise with Louis Loss and Joel Seligman entitled Securities Regulation.
Before joining Washington University's faculty in 2001, Commissioner Paredes practiced law at prominent national law firms. As a practicing lawyer, Commissioner Paredes worked on a variety of transactions and legal matters involving financings, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance.
Commissioner Paredes graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1992. He went on to graduate from Yale Law School in 1996.
A native of southern California, Commissioner Paredes now lives with his family in the Washington, D.C. area.
Robert W. Cook holds the position of Director, Division of Trading and Markets at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Cook became the Director of the Division of Trading and Markets on January 4, 2010. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Cook was a partner at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
Mr. Cook graduated from Harvard College in 1988. He received his Master of Science in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from London School of Economics in 1989. Mr. Cook received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1992.
James L. Kroeker is the Chief Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In this capacity, Mr. Kroeker serves as the principal advisor to the Commission on accounting and auditing matters.
Since joining the Commission as Deputy Chief Accountant in February 2007,
Mr. Kroeker has played a key role in efforts to improve the transparency and reduce the complexity of financial disclosure. For example, he recently served as staff director of the SEC's Congressionally-mandated study of fair value accounting standards, and he has led the efforts of the Office of the Chief Accountant to address the current economic turmoil, including steps to improve off-balance sheet accounting guidelines. Mr. Kroeker also served as the Designated Federal Officer responsible for the staff oversight of the SEC's Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting. He also has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office's accounting group, including resolution of accounting practice issues, rulemaking, and oversight of private sector standard-setting efforts.
Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Kroeker was a partner at Deloitte and Touche LLP in the firm's National Office Accounting Services Group and was responsible for providing consultation and support regarding the implementation, application, communication and development of accounting standards, including disclosure and reporting matters. Mr. Kroeker was Deloitte & Touche's representative on the AICPA Accounting Standards Executive Committee (AcSEC). Mr. Kroeker also served as a Practice Fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
Mr. Kroeker received a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Nebraska in May 1992.
The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy serves individual investors, ensuring that their problems and concerns are known throughout the SEC and are considered when the agency takes action. Investor assistance specialists within the Office answer questions, analyze complaints, and seek informal resolution of investors' problems. The Office also publishes free brochures and other educational materials on numerous investing topics.
Ms. Schock returned to the Commission in 2009 as the Director of the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. In that capacity, she focuses primarily on investor education initiatives and provides advice on policy matters relating to investor protection. Ms. Schock joined the Commission in 2001 as a Staff Attorney and held various positions of increasing responsibility during her tenure including Acting Director, Deputy Director and Special Counsel to the Director.
Before returning to the Commission, Ms. Schock worked for FINRA's Office of Investor Education and the Center for Audit Quality. She received her Juris Doctorate and Master's of Taxation from the University of Akron and her Bachelor of Arts from Furman University.
Amy Starr is a Senior Special Counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before rejoining that office in 2008, from 2003–2008, Ms. Starr was Senior Special Counsel to the Director of the Division. She also has been a special counsel in the Division's Office of the Chief Counsel and in disclosure operations. Ms. Starr has been involved in many Commission rulemakings, including Securities Offering Reform, Regulation FD., the Commission's 1994 Municipal Securities Interpretive Release, the 1994 Amendments to Rule 15c2-12, and the recent actions in the OTC derivatives arena. Prior to joining the Commission in 1992, Ms. Starr practiced corporate and securities law for 11 years in New York City.
Martha Mahan Haines heads the Securities & Exchange Commission's Office of Municipal Securities and is an Assistant Director in the Division of Trading and Markets. She joined the Commission in August, 1999. For the previous 20 years, Ms. Haines practiced as a municipal bond lawyer in Chicago. She has broad experience with many varieties of municipal securities and has acted as an expert witness in cases related to municipal bonds. In addition, she is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law School.
Ms. Haines was graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and from The University of Michigan Law School. She is a member of the bar of the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.