Columbia professor Jackson leads field for SEC job, say sources: Reuters

Columbia University law professor Robert Jackson is a leading contender for one of the two commissioner vacancies on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the matter.

If ultimately nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate, Jackson would fill a vacant spot reserved for a Democrat on the five-member panel.

Jackson, who is traveling, could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jackson is known for his advocacy work in trying to advance new rules at the SEC that would force public companies to disclose their political spending to investors.

He also fought the SEC several years ago, after the agency denied him access to public data filed by investment advisers through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The information he was seeking is already partially available on the SEC’s public database of forms ADV, filled out by advisers, and he later learned that the forms had been provided in their entirety to other researchers for use in economic journals.

Other names for the democratic slot at the SEC that have been in the mix in the past have included Bharat R. Ramamurti, a legislative aide for Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, as well as Vermont Law School professor Jennifer Taub, the AFL-CIO’s office of investment director Heather Slavkin Corzo and Andy Green, a managing director at the Center for American Progress.

The White House is also said to be considering nominating Hester Peirce for the other Republican vacancy on the SEC, one of the sources said.

Peirce is a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She serves on the SEC’s investor advisory committee, and previously worked both at the SEC and also on the Senate Banking Committee’s staff.

She had been nominated to serve on the SEC by President Barack Obama previously, but the Senate never confirmed her to the post.

Peirce declined to comment.

Last week, a senior official at the White House said the president is close to naming its SEC nominees.