SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee Formally Steps Down

SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee Formally Steps Down
  • Lizarraga’s nomination was approved by the Senate on June 16.
  • At the SEC, Lee argued that the agency needed to “evolve with changing technologies.”

Allison Herren Lee, a member of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) board of commissioners, has formally stepped down after more than three years of service.

Gary Gensler, Hester Peirce, Mark Uyeda, and Caroline Crenshaw, the SEC’s chair and commissioners announced Lee’s departure from the agency on Friday. Lee joined the agency’s enforcement division in Denver as an attorney in 2005. In April 2021, she was confirmed as head of the regulatory agency after serving as interim chair for three months under the prior presidential administration.

The other commissioners issued a unified statement:

“Commissioner Lee has been a stalwart advocate for strong and stable markets, including by emphasizing the need for market participants to maintain the highest ethical standards.”

Jaime Lizarraga Named the Successor

President Joe Biden nominated Jaime Lizarraga, a staffer for Nancy Pelosi, to replace Lee in April when she initially announced her resignation from the SEC. Lizarraga’s nomination was approved by the Senate on June 16 for a term at the SEC that would expire on June 5, 2027.

At the SEC, Lee argued that the agency needed to “evolve with changing technologies” regarding crypto regulation but that it needed to keep its values intact. Few, if any, public remarks have been made by Lizárraga regarding crypto and blockchain. During the financial crisis of 2008, a Pelosi staffer worked in the administration and was involved in the Dodd-Frank Act’s implementation.

SEC, CFT and FCEN handle a patchwork approach to digital asset regulation in the United States, but with jurisdictional claims that crypto businesses must traverse to operate in the United States. It’s unclear how Lee’s resignation and Lizárraga’s appointment will affect crypto regulation and enforcement.

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