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SEC Announces Two Promotions to Senior Positions in Division of Economic and Risk Analysis


Washington D.C., Oct. 3, 2013 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced two promotions to senior positions in its Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA).  Scott Bauguess has been named deputy director, and Vanessa Countryman will become chief counsel.

The SEC created the division in September 2009 to help inform the agency’s policymaking, rulemaking, enforcement, and examinations.  The division provides economic analyses in support of rulemaking, risk assessment, and quantitative research, and its staff has expertise in a variety of academic disciplines as well as deep knowledge of the financial industry and markets.

DERA’s two deputy director positions assist the chief economist with the overall management of the division.  Dr. Bauguess, who has been an assistant director for DERA’s Office of Corporate Finance since 2011, will focus on overseeing the division’s risk assessment functions in his new role.  He also will be involved in the division’s policy and rulemaking support activities, working closely together with DERA’s other deputy director, Jennifer Marietta-Westberg.  Dr. Bauguess replaces Kathleen Hanley, who recently returned to academia.

“Dr. Bauguess combines deep technical knowledge with a broad understanding of how data-driven analytics can help the Commission fulfill its mission,” said Dr. Craig Lewis, the SEC’s chief economist and director of DERA.  “I’m pleased that he will be able to continue to provide his expertise to the agency in this new and important role.”

Dr. Bauguess added, “I’m excited to take on these new responsibilities and continue working with the committed and talented staff in DERA and across the agency to help the Commission make informed decisions through the use of technical research and analysis.”

Ms. Countryman has been the deputy chief counsel in DERA since February 2012.  In her heightened role, she will provide advice and guidance to staff within DERA and across the agency regarding the legal aspects of integrating economic analysis and data analytics into the SEC’s work, particularly rulemaking and policy development.  She also will advise the chief economist and other division staff on legal issues implicated by the division’s broad mandate.

Dr. Lewis said, “Ms. Countryman already has been an invaluable member of DERA, contributing significantly to the implementation of the Current Guidance on Economic Analysis in SEC Rulemaking over the past year and a half.  I am thrilled that she will continue her fine work with the division.”

Ms. Countryman added, “DERA increasingly contributes to so many of the Commission’s important initiatives, and I’m honored to continue to be part of the division’s ongoing work.” 

Dr. Bauguess joined the SEC staff in 2007 as a visiting academic scholar in the Office of Economic Analysis and became a senior financial economist in 2009 prior to becoming an assistant director two years later.  Before coming to the SEC, he was an assistant professor at Texas Tech University.  Since 2009, he has taught in the Masters of Finance program as an adjunct member of the faculty at the George Washington University School of Business.  Dr. Bauguess holds an advanced degree in engineering and spent six years working in the high-tech industry before earning a Ph.D. in finance at Arizona State University in 2004. 

Ms. Countryman began working at the SEC in July 2010 as a counsel to Commissioner Kathleen Casey.  She later was a counsel to Commissioner Daniel Gallagher before joining DERA.  Prior to the SEC, she worked at the law firm Gibson Dunn and represented clients in a variety of appellate and administrative matters.  She clerked for Judge Emilio Garza on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 2005.  Ms. Countryman received her B.A. from Columbia University and also holds an M.Phil. in Victorian Literature from Oxford University.


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