WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Heath Tarbert stepped down as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Thursday, with Georgetown University academic Chris Brummer emerging as the lead candidate to replace him, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
The White House is expected to make an announcement on this and other financial regulator roles soon, one of the people said. A White House spokesperson and Brummer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that Allison Lee, one of the agency’s Democratic commissioners, had been named the agency’s president-in-office pending Senate confirmation of Gary Gensler as full-time president.
Brummer is currently Professor and Faculty Director of Georgetown University’s Institute of International Economic Law, where he has researched digital technology, including cryptocurrencies, international finance and, most recently, the scarcity of black financial regulators.
The research found that of the 327 financial regulators who were appointed for positions requiring congressional confirmation, only 10 were black. It attracted widespread attention and strengthened Brummer’s profile in Washington, even among lawmakers keen to see Biden choose different regulators.
Brummer was previously appointed by President Barack Obama as commissioner at the CFTC, which oversees the swap and futures markets, but his candidacy was later withdrawn by President Donald Trump’s White House.
In addition to the CFTC chairman, Brummer has been considered for other financial roles under the Biden administration, a fourth person said.
CFTC Democratic Commissioners Rostin Behnam and Dan Berkovitz, who often clashed with Tarbert, have also been vying to replace him, according to Reuters.
Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Chris Reese, Kirsten Donovan