Mary L. Schapiro is the 29th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chairman Schapiro was appointed by President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in on January 27, 2009. She is the first woman to serve as the agency's permanent Chairman.
Over the course of Chairman Schapiro's tenure, the SEC has brought a record number of enforcement actions; pursued scores of individuals and entities in connection with the financial crisis; put in place a series of measures to help reduce the likelihood of another flash crash; obtained significant responsibilities for derivatives, hedge funds and credit rating agencies as a result of financial reform legislation; and underwent a comprehensive restructuring to become more effective in its investor protection mission.
Prior to becoming SEC Chairman, Chairman Schapiro was CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public. Chairman Schapiro joined the organization in 1996 as President of NASD Regulation. In 2006, she was named NASD's Chairman and CEO. The following year, she led the organization's consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA.
In 1994, Chairman Schapiro was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a position she held until joining NASD.
Chairman Schapiro has received appointments to the Commission from four presidents. She was first appointed as a commissioner by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and was re-appointed a by President George H.W. Bush the following year, before being named acting Chairman by President Clinton in 1993.
A 1977 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Chairman Schapiro earned a Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from George Washington University in 1980.