The US Senate has confirmed Mary Jo White's nomination as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, making her the first former prosecutor to lead the federal agency that oversees Wall Street. White was approved today by a Senate voice vote. She will replace Elisse Walter, who has been interim SEC chairman since Mary Schapiro resigned in December. President Barack Obama nominated White, who had served as US attorney in Manhattan from 1993 through 2002.
Critics have complained that the SEC has failed to act aggressively to charge top executives at the biggest US banks who may have contributed to the crisis that set off the Great Recession. White told the Senate Banking Committee last month that she would aggressively pursue enforcement and hold accountable "all wrongdoers—individual and institutional, of whatever position or size." As SEC chairman, she will also lead efforts to complete and enforce complex regulations called for by Congress in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Click for more on White.