Obama Picks First Woman to Lead SEC

Veteran regulator Mary Schapiro will take over agency
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2008 5:56 PM CST
Mary Schapiro of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority speaks during a summit on investment fraud targeting seniors, Monday, Sept. 10, 2007, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has made his pick for a new leader of the SEC, currently under siege for its failure to detect the massive fraud of Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama is expected to announce tomorrow that Mary Schapiro—a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission—will be the first permanent female chief of Wall Street's top regulator.

Schapiro, 53, currently runs the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a non-government regulator of securities firms, the Journal notes. She will take over the SEC at a time of upheaval. In addition to the Madoff scandal, the SEC has taken heat for its lax oversight of Wall Street banks.