Democrat Allison Herren Lee stepped down from her position as a Commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday after serving the regulator for three years.
In a statement, her fellow commissioners said: “Allison has been a stalwart advocate for strong and stable markets, including by emphasizing the need for market participants to maintain the highest ethical standards. She has been a champion for stronger climate disclosures, whistleblower protections, and individual accountability for violations of the securities laws.”
Lee was nominated by President Trump to fill one of the Democratic seats on the commission in the spring of 2019. She was confirmed in July of that year.
Lee started working at the SEC in 2005, where she served various roles including being a counsel to former Commissioner Kara Stein and a senior counsel in the Division of Enforcement’s Complex Financial Instruments Unit.
Lee also briefly served as acting SEC chairperson under President Biden from January 2021 until Gary Gensler was appointed in April to fill the role on a permanent basis.
Her departure follows SEC Republican commissioner Elad Roisman, who vacated his seat in January of this year.
In June, Mr. Mark T. Uyeda was appointed by the Biden administration to fill up the Republican seat vacated by former commissioner Elad Roisman. Lee’s departure has given the Biden administration another open seat to fill at the SEC.
The SEC is now left with just four members: Mr. Gensler, Democrat Caroline Crenshaw, Republican Hester Peirce, and Republican Mark T. Uyeda.
The commission normally operates with five members. President Biden will need to nominate another Democrat to fill an open seat vacated by Lee.
Lee has been a vocal proponent of the SEC mandating climate-related disclosures for public companies as well as investment firms, broker-dealers, and investment advisers. She also argued in favor of enhanced disclosures concerning other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters and political contributions.
Lee recently supported a proposed rule for enhanced disclosures for private equity and hedge funds. She also recently encouraged the SEC to create a better system to hold securities lawyers accountable for providing bad advice to their public company clients.
In her public remarks, Lee expressed skepticism surrounding the crypto market. In March, she said digital assets mostly defy existing regulations and laws.
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