Biden nominates Sloan Professor Gary Gensler for SEC chair

9538 sloan
Sloan professor Gary Gensler was nominated by President Biden to serve as chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Kristina Chen–The Tech

President Joe Biden nominated MIT Sloan Professor Gary Gensler to serve as the 33rd chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jan. 18.

Since November 2020, Gensler has led the Biden-Harris transition team’s planning for oversight of the financial industry. If confirmed by the Senate, Gensler will face a variety of challenges, including how to address market volatility, financial applications like Robinhood, and the rise of retail investors.

Gensler is a professor of the practice of global economics and management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and deals with public policy, financial technology, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. He is also the co-director of MIT’s Fintech@CSAIL and senior advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative. 

Gensler has a history of public service, having served as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets and Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance during the Clinton administration from 1997 to 1999 and 1999 to 2001, respectively. In recognition for his service, he was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury’s highest honor. 

Gensler also served as the Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration, leading the reform of a $400 trillion swaps market from 2009 to 2014.

Gensler has also worked for political campaigns, as an economic advisor for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, senior advisor for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, and Chief Financial Officer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Prior to his public service, Gensler spent 18 years working at Goldman Sachs, and was co-head of finance before leaving to work under the Clinton administration. 

Two of Gensler’s courses, 15.S12 (Blockchain and Money) and 15.S08 (FinTech: Shaping the Financial World), are available on MIT’s OpenCourseWare.