The Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) provides sophisticated analysis that integrates economic, financial, and legal disciplines. The Division’s responsibilities cover three broad areas: risk and economic analysis; strategic research; and financial innovation. Its responsibilities include providing economic analyses of proposed Commission actions and providing expertise in analytical approaches and methods in support of the Commission’s enforcement and examinations program. In its “think tank” and other roles, DERA is involved across the entire range of SEC activities, including policy-making, rule-making, enforcement, examination, and other matters.

Financial Economists at the Commission provide economic guidance and research expertise to a broad range of activities, including rule-making, enforcement actions, market oversight and monitoring, and other regulatory initiatives. Opportunities exist within the Division to focus on work in specific policy areas, risk assessment and modeling, and litigation support. In all roles, candidates must have the ability to apply academic research and empirical methods in support of Commission actions and regulatory programs, and are encouraged to engage in independent research directed at top-tier professional journals.

Interested candidates should have a research and policy interest in one of the following areas: market microstructure, derivative securities, clearance and settlement, credit ratings, registered funds such as mutual funds and ETFs, hedge funds and other private funds, municipal securities, corporate governance, securities offerings, financial accounting and disclosure, econometrics, asset pricing, financial markets and systemic risk, game theory, auction theory, industrial organization, and/or an interest in litigation economics.

Financial Economist Positions in DERA include:

  • Financial Economist
    Financial Economists in DERA generally have a Ph.D. and a demonstrated research record/program in the field of economics, finance, or accounting. Staff Financial Economists are expected to conduct independent research and provide analysis and advice to the Division and to the SEC on issues relevant to the regulation of securities markets. This may entail building economic models; designing and directing empirical analyses, including the organization and collection of financial market data; summarizing the results from studies and relevant academic literature in formal and informal presentations/settings; administering studies of long-range trends of major significance to the securities markets and the securities industry; and producing written materials in these areas in the form of memos, white papers, and peer-reviewed academic publications.

    *Staff Economists may be a permanent federal employee or appointed as a fellow with a term of typically two years, which may be extended up to four years at the Government’s discretion.
  • Visiting Scholar
    A Visiting Scholar is typically a research-active faculty member at a university or research-oriented institution who is detailed to the Government for a period of one to two years. The visiting scholar remains employed by his/her institution, and the institution is reimbursed for salary and benefits through an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) contract. The individual must have a Ph.D. in finance, accounting, economics, mathematics, statistics, or a similar quantitative field, and must demonstrate evidence of a strong research background in the area of economics, finance, or accounting. Visiting scholars are often selected based on the alignment of their research program and interests with matters of current interest to the SEC, and they are expected to perform work commensurate of a Financial Economist.
  • Academic Consultant
    An Academic Consultant is a seasoned Financial Economist, typically a tenured professor at an academic institution, employed by the SEC on an intermittent basis to provide targeted economic consultant services related to projects or issues relevant to the regulation of security markets. These arrangements may be as short as several weeks or a few months, such as during the breaks between academic semesters, or may be spread out over time, such as one day a week or a couple of days per month during academic semesters. The maximum term of this special government employee may not exceed [two] years.
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How to Apply


To apply, please submit a packet to

Please include your last name, first name and position type (Financial Economist, Visiting Scholar, or Academic Consultant) 2017 Application Packet in the subject line in the following format: LastNameFirstName_SEC {Position Type} 2017 Application Packet. For example, if you are applying for a Fellow position, the subject line would read: SmithJohn_SEC Fellow 2017 Application Packet. Please follow the naming conventions below in your application package. The packet must include:

  1. brief cover e-mail indicating:
    • your research interests or other reason for seeking the position,
    • your US citizenship status,
    • veteran’s status
    • whether you are applying for an Economic Fellow (two years), Financial Economist, or Visiting Academic (one year), and
    • if you are attending FMA and/or ASSA, and if so, which dates you will be attending
  1. vita (Last NameFirstInitial_CV, e.g. SmithJ_CV)
  2. Job Market Paper sample working papers or research (Last NameFirstInitial_ JMP Paper title , e.g. SmithJ_ JMP Strategy Execution), and
  3. for candidates with less than three years of experience post doc, three letters of recommendation (Your LastNameFirstInitial_ Reference last name_ Recommendation, e.g., SmithJ_Jones_Recommendation).

If you are offered a Fellow or Financial Economist appointment, you will need to provide university transcripts promptly. Please consider ordering them from your universities when you apply. Transcripts are required under the SEC’s hiring procedures.

To ensure proper consideration, please submit your application by December 1, 2016. Please note that candidate submissions, including all letters of recommendation, must be received by the submission date.   Applications received after this date will be reviewed after the ASSA meetings.

Candidates interested in a permanent position may also apply under an open vacancy announcement. All vacancies for permanent positions are listed on this website and through USAJOBS or other professional recruiting sites (Bloomberg, WSJ, efinancial, etc.). Interested candidates should carefully read the qualification requirements and application procedures that are outlined in each announcement. Applications must be submitted during the open announcement period.

Visiting Academics are hired through the Intergovernment Personnel Act (IPA). Click this link for more information on this program.


  • Education: Ph.D. in economics, finance, accounting, mathematics, statistics, or similarly quantitative field
  • Experience: Qualifying experience may be obtained in the private or public sector. Examples of qualifying experience include economic research assignments of financial market entities covered by the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requiring planning, information assembly, analysis and evaluation, consultations and report preparation, evaluation and interpretation of economic information; or teaching assignments in a college or university in finance and economic subjects in combination with one of the following: personal research that produced evidence of results, direction of graduate theses in finance, accounting, economics, or similarly quantitative field; or service as a consultant or advisor on technical economics problems.
  • U.S. Citizenship or a person admitted for permanent residence (green card) and seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)(B)) required for Economic Fellows and Financial Economists.
  • Visiting academics are required to be employed by a US college or university.
  • Ideal candidates have a Ph.D. or are nearing completion of a Ph.D., in finance, economics, accounting, statistics, or related area, or have industry experience through positions with banks, exchanges, asset management firms, broker-dealers, hedge funds, mutual funds, or similar institutions.
  • Candidates with a Ph.D. should have extensive experience conducting empirical financial research in topics of interest to the SEC.
  • Experience working with very large data sets is a plus, as is industry experience or full-time university faculty experience. Candidates must have the ability to apply academic research to real-world issues on short deadlines and present concise explanations of complex analyses.