Elisse B. Walter

ELISSE B. WALTER - 2013 Recipient

ASECA is proud to announce that Elisse B. Walter, current SEC Chairman and former SEC staff member in the Office of General Counsel and Division of Corporation Finance, has been selected as the twenty-first recipient of the William O. Douglas Award. The Douglas Award, instituted by ASECA in 1992, is conferred annually on an SEC alumnus or alumna who has contributed to the development of the federal securities laws or served the financial and SEC community with distinction. The selection of Ms. Walter recognizes her long and distinguished service as a regulator, culminating in her designation as SEC Chairman by President Obama following the resignation of Chairman Mary Schapiro.

Elisse B. Walter was sworn in as an SEC Commissioner on July 9, 2008. From the 2008 financial crisis, Commissioner Walter has been involved in countless agency initiatives, including the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. She has served as the SEC’s representative on two multi-lateral international bodies – the International Organization of Securities Commissions and the Financial Stability Board. She also led a review of the municipal securities markets, which culminated in the Commission’s 2012 Report on the Municipal Securities Market. Commissioner Walter also sponsors the agency’s Disability Issues Advisory Committee, the Women’s Committee, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Committee.

Ms. Walter joined the SEC in 1977 as a staff attorney in the Office of the General Counsel and served the agency for 17 years in positions of increasing responsibility. She worked on various cases before the United States Supreme Court, including Rubin v. SEC, and developed the Commission’s amicus and policy positions on issues including tender offers, insider trading and cross-border jurisdiction. In 1986, she was named Deputy Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, where she led significant initiatives, including the 1994 Interpretive Guidance on the Antifraud Provisions with respect to municipal securities disclosure, the reworking of the regulatory framework for private institutional trading and offshore offerings, and the rules governing cross-border offerings and listings. During her first tour of duty at the SEC, Ms. Walter received, among other honors, the Presidential Rank Award (Distinguished), the SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence, the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Federal Bar Association’s Philip Loomis and Manuel F. Cohen Younger Lawyer Awards.

Ms. Walter left the SEC in 1994 to serve as the General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under then-Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. In 1996, Ms. Walter joined Ms. Schapiro at NASD, predecessor to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NASD Regulation. At FINRA, Ms. Walter coordinated policy issues and oversaw the organization’s Investment Company Regulation, Member Education and Training, Investor Education, and Emerging Regulatory Issues departments. She also served as a director on the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s board.

Ms. Walter is a member of the Academy of Women Achievers of the YWCA of the City of New York and participated in the inaugural class of the DirectWomen Institute. She attended Brown University and earned her B.A., cum laude, in mathematics from Yale University and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.