The State of the Municipal Securities Markets - SEC Staff Biographies
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.
Meredith Cross is the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to joining the staff in June 2009, Ms. Cross was a partner at WilmerHale LLP in Washington, D.C., where she advised clients on corporate and securities matters and was involved with the full range of issues faced by public and private companies in capital raising and financial reporting. Ms. Cross also worked in the Division of Corporation Finance prior to joining WilmerHale. She began her previous tenure at the SEC in September 1990 as an Attorney Fellow in the Office of Chief Counsel, and served in a variety of capacities within the Division, including Deputy Chief Counsel, Chief Counsel, Associate Director, and finally, Deputy Director. Before her previous tenure at the SEC, Ms. Cross worked in private practice in the securities department of King & Spalding in Atlanta. She earned her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Duke University in 1979, and her law degree in 1982 from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Henry T. C. Hu was appointed the first Director of the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2009. He holds the Allan Shivers Chair in the Law of Banking and Finance at the University of Texas Law School. Especially interested in the law and economics of financial innovation and governance, Hu has written on asset allocation; corporate control, disclosure, and objectives; "decoupling"; derivatives dealer, managerial, shareholder, and trader behavior; derivatives markets; hedging; model risk; new financial products and the innovation process; regulation of banks, hedge funds, and mutual funds; securitization; systemic risk; and Warren Buffett. The writings have appeared in law reviews (e.g., Columbia Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Yale Law Journal), specialist journals (e.g., European Financial Management, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, and Risk), and newspapers (i.e., The Financial Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal). A 1993 article receiving renewed attention in the wake of the financial crisis showed how cognitive bias, compensation, financial "science," and other factors can cause market participants to take undue risks and make other mistakes as to complex derivatives. His recent "decoupling" research introduced terms like "empty creditor" and "empty voter," and was discussed in a lead front-page story in The Wall Street Journal as well as stories in The Economist, The Financial Times, and The New York Times. He holds a B.S. (Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry), M.A. (Economics), and J.D., all from Yale.
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.
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.