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  • SEC Regulation Think-In 2020 - 15 and 16 September 2020

William H. Hinman was named Director of the Division of Corporation Finance in May 2017. The Division seeks to ensure that investors are provided with material information in order to make informed investment decisions, provides interpretive assistance to companies with respect to SEC rules, and makes recommendations to the Commission regarding new and existing rules.

Before serving at the Commission, Mr. Hinman was a partner in the Silicon Valley office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he practiced in the corporate finance group. He has advised issuers and underwriters in capital raising transactions and corporate acquisitions in a wide range of industries, including technology, e-commerce, and the life-sciences.

Prior to joining Simpson Thacher in 2000, Mr. Hinman was the managing partner of Shearman & Sterling’s San Francisco and Menlo Park offices. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University with honors in 1977 and his J.D. in 1980 from Cornell University Law School, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Cornell Law Review. He is a member of the Bar Association of the State of California and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Mr. Hinman also is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Dalia Osman Blass was named the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Director of the Division of Investment Management in September 2017.

Ms. Blass previously served in a number of leadership roles in the Division of Investment Management. Ms. Blass returned to the SEC as Director of the Division of Investment Management in September, 2017 from private practice, where she advised on a broad range of investment fund, private equity, and regulatory matters. Earlier in her career, Ms. Blass practiced corporate law in New York and London.

Ms. Blass earned a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. She received her B.A in international studies from the American University and studied political science at the American University in Cairo.

Emily Westerberg Russell was named Chief Counsel of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets in July 2019, after serving as a member of the Office of Chief Counsel for a decade.  The Office of Chief Counsel provides legal and policy advice to the Commission on a variety of matters affecting broker-dealers and the operation of the securities markets.  Among other things, the Office was responsible for developing and drafting key components of the Commission’s recently adopted package of rulemakings and interpretations designed to enhance the quality and transparency of retail investors’ relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers, in particular, Regulation Best Interest.   Ms. Russell received the SEC’s Jay Manning Award in 2019 in recognition of her commitment to excellence, dedication to fair and honest markets, and tireless pursuit of just and workable regulatory responses to practical business problems.  She also was a joint recipient of the Chairman’s Award for Excellence for her work on the IA/BD Team, and a joint recipient of the Law and Policy Award for her work on the Dodd-Frank Legislative Response Team.  Prior to joining the SEC, she was a Senior Associate in the Financial Institutions Group at WilmerHale, where she advised broker-dealers and other financial institutions regarding compliance with a wide range of securities and banking laws, including anti-money laundering requirements.   Ms. Russell received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a James Kent and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and served as Executive Editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law.  She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in economics and international relations from Colgate University.

Jay Clayton was nominated to chair the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on January 20, 2017, by President Donald J. Trump and was sworn in as Chairman on May 4, 2017. Chairman Clayton is a member of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and the Financial Stability Board. He also participates on the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

Stephanie Avakian was named Co-Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement in June 2017, after serving as Acting Director since December 2016. She was previously the Division of Enforcement’s Deputy Director, serving from June 2014 to December 2016.

Before being named Deputy Director, Ms. Avakian was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she served as a vice chair of the firm’s securities practice and focused on representing financial institutions, public companies, boards, and individuals in a broad range of investigations and other matters before the SEC and other agencies.

Ms. Avakian previously worked in the Division of Enforcement as a branch chief in the SEC’s New York Regional Office, and later served as counsel to former SEC Commissioner Paul Carey.

Ms. Avakian received her bachelors degree from the College of New Jersey and a law degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, both with high honors.

Pete Driscoll was previously OCIE’s Chief Risk and Strategy Officer prior to which he was managing executive from 2013 through early 2016. He joined the SECin 2001 as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement in the Chicago Regional Office and was later a Branch Chief and Assistant Regional Director in OCIE. Prior to the Agency, Mr. Driscoll began his career with Ernst & Young LLP and held several accounting positions in private industry. He received his B.S. in Accounting and law degree from St. Louis University.  He is licensed as a certified public accountant and is a member of the Missouri Bar Association.

Melissa Gainor is senior special counsel in the Division of Investment Management’s Rulemaking Office.  She assists on the development of policy and rulemaking relating to investment advisers and investment companies. Prior to joining the Commission in 2012, Ms. Gainor was an associate at Ropes & Gray LLP in their Boston and Washington, D.C. offices.  Ms. Gainor graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College, and earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law.