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Obama to nominate Mary Jo White as next SEC chair

Mary Jo White pictured at a press conference in 2011, when she was U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York. President Obama is expected to nominate White as the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Correction: The on-air version of this story misidentified University of Connecticut Prof. Patricia McCoy.

President Obama is expected to nominate Mary Jo White as the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

White, a former U.S. prosecutor turned white collar defense lawyer, spent almost 10 years as U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York. She led the prosecution of mob boss John Gotti, and has spent many years defending corporations in white collar cases.

Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets -- a nonprofit group promoting the public interest in financial markets -- said that combination gives her "the experience, judgment and wisdom to be an accomplished SEC chairperson if she's confirmed."

Her first job, Kelleher said, would be to finish writing new rules put in place by the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. University of Connecticut law professor Patricia McCoy said that will mean breaking the partisan gridlock on the commission. Moreover, she said White will need to repair the agency's reputation.

"That task is not finished," McCoy added. and I think White has so much credibility that she's a good choice for rebuilding the credibility of the SEC."

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.

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