Mary Jo White has been confirmed by the US Senate as the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the body that regulates Wall Street.
Former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White was nominated in January by President Barack Obama to replace SEC chairman Mary Schapiro after she stepped down.
Mary Jo White, 65, built a reputation as a tough crime-fighter serving as attorney for the Southern District of New York.
She spent almost 10 years as the Southern District attorney.
Mary Jo White assumes her new role at a critical time for Wall Street, with new rules and regulations being introduced following the financial crisis. But the Senate confirmation only allows for her to complete the remainder of Mary Schapiro’s 5-year term, which ends in June 2014.
There had been some concern about Mary Jo White’s time as a lawyer in private practice representing big corporations. However, she has pledged to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Mary Jo White told the Senate Banking Committee last month that she would aggressively pursue enforcement and hold accountable “all wrongdoers, individual and institutional, of whatever position or size”.