|29th Chairwoman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission|
January 27, 2009 - December 14, 2012
|Elisse B. Walter|
Acting: May 7, 1993 - July 27, 1993
|Richard C. Breeden|
|Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission|
December 1988 - October 1994
|Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission|
October 13, 1994 - January 26, 1996
|Barbara Holum (acting)|
|John Tull (acting)|
|Alma mater||Franklin and Marshall College|
George Washington University
Mary L. Schapiro (born June 19, 1955) served as the 29th Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She was appointed by President Barack Obama, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and assumed the Chairship on January 27, 2009. She is the first woman to be the permanent Chair of the SEC. In 2009, Forbes ranked her the 56th most powerful woman in the world.
Schapiro served in various roles as a financial services regulator in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. From 2006 to early 2009, she was the Chairman and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the securities industry's self-regulatory organization for broker-dealers and exchanges in the United States.
Schapiro was born in New York City to Robert and Mary Susan "Sue" Hall Schapiro. Schapiro's mother was a member of the Presbyterian church. One of four children, Schapiro grew up in Babylon, N.Y., where her father owned the Tempus Fugit antique store. and her mother was a reference librarian. Schapiro graduated from Babylon High School, and matriculated at Franklin & Marshall College, where she was graduated in 1977. In 1980 she earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree with honors from George Washington University Law School.
Schapiro was appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to fill one of two Democratic seats on the SEC. President George H. W. Bush reappointed her to this position in 1989. President Bill Clinton appointed Schapiro acting Chair of the SEC, and then appointed her Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1994.
In 1996 Schapiro joined the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) (now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) as the president of NASD Regulation. In 2002 she became the Vice Chair of the NASD.
In 2005 Schapiro oversaw a wide-reaching probe into gift-giving and entertaining on Wall Street, uncovering several instances of lavish and excessive activities, which led to many charges.
In January 2008, President George W. Bush appointed Schapiro to the 19-member council of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. In 2008, Schapiro was named to Investment Advisor magazine's IA 25, the list of the 25 most influential people in and around the investment advisory business.
In 2008, her last year at FINRA, Schapiro earned a regular compensation package of $3.3 million; on departure from FINRA, she received additional lump sum retirement benefit payments to a total of just under $9 million. She received $8.99 million as a "final distribution," including $7.6 million in vested retirement benefits, according to a Finra report. She makes $163,500 at the SEC.
In January 2009 the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Schapiro's appointment by President Barack Obama to be the SEC's first female permanent Chair.
Schapiro partially blamed the financial crises of 2008 on deregulation, telling senators that the regulatory system had "not kept pace with the markets and the needs of investors". As the SEC's head, she said, she would press for tighter regulation of financial instruments, including derivatives.
During Schapiro's tenure at the SEC, the agency improved its enforcement program, creating new structures, procedures, and programs to better address the modern financial markets, including: bringing 735 enforcement actions in FY 2011 and a near record of 734 actions in FY 2012; obtaining more than $11 billion in ordered disgorgements and penalties since FY 2009; prosecuting the largest insider trading scheme ever discovered, winning a record $92.8 million fine in the civil case against the CEO of the Galleon Hedge Fund; and bringing financial-crisis related actions against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among others. Also during Schapiro's tenure, the SEC brought a record number of enforcement actions and returned more than $6 billion to harmed investors. Schapiro also led the agency through one of its most active rulemaking periods, and enacted many other investor protection measures, including adopting more than three quarters of the rules required by the Dodd-Frank Act.
An early setback for Schapiro as SEC Chair occurred in September 2009 when U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the SEC's proposed $33 million settlement with Bank of America. BoA had been charged with failure to disclose bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch executive before the two companies merged. Under the settlement's terms BoA was allowed to deny any wrongdoing, which they did when pressed by Rakoff on the matter of guilt. Rakoff said the settlement did not "comport with the most elementary notions of justice and morality". Seven months later, Rakoff approved a $150 million settlement of the BoA case; BoA did not have to change its declaration of innocence.
Upon Schapiro's departure from the SEC in December 2012, President Obama commended Schapiro's contributions as Chair in an official White House statement.
In April 2013, Schapiro joined Promontory Financial Group where she is Advisory Board Vice Chair. In 2014 she joined the board of directors of General Electric, and in 2015, she joined the board of directors of the London Stock Exchange Group. In 2017, she was elected to the board of directors of CVS Health.
Schapiro is married to Charles "Chas" Cadwell, a former official with the U.S. Small Business Administration. They have two daughters. She serves as treasurer of the Humane Rescue Alliance, formerly the Washington Humane Society.
| Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission
| Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
| Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission