SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee steps down

Quick Take

  • SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee has vacated her post after announcing her planned departure in March.
  • The exit leaves one seat open on the Commission.

Allison Herren Lee stepped down from her position as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today. 

Lee announced her planned departure in March of this year with plans to take up a visiting professorship in Italy. She had delayed the opportunity to take a seat on the Commission in 2019, according to the New York Times. 

The Democrat's exit follows Republican Elad Roisman, who vacated his seat in January of this year. Mark T. Uyeda, a Republican, filled that seat at the end of June. Lee's departure opens up another seat to be filled by the Biden Administration.

Lee joined the Commission in 2005 as a staff attorney in the Enforcement Division's Denver Regional Office. She also served as counsel to Commissioner Kara Stein until 2019, when she herself was appointed, and ultimately served as acting head of the SEC while chair Gary Gensler awaited his confirmation. 

Her time with the Commission, including as its interim leader, was marked by efforts to push climate-related disclosures to the forefront and further investor issues. In her public remarks, she has expressed skepticism surrounding the cryptocurrency market, most recently in a March address that said digital assets largely defy existing laws and regulations. 

"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," said a statement from her fellow commissioners. "She has been a champion for stronger climate disclosures, whistleblower protections, and individual accountability for violations of the securities laws."

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About Author

Aislinn Keely joined The Block in the summer of 2019. She is a member of the outlet's policy team, holding down the legal beat. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV, where she reported and anchored newscasts in addition to some podcast work. Aislinn is a proud Fordham Ram and editor-in-chief emerita of its newspaper. When she isn't writing or reporting, Aislinn is running and rock climbing.