Harvey L. Pitt


ASECA is proud to announce that Harvey L. Pitt, the SEC’s twenty-sixth Chairman and previously its youngest General Counsel, has been selected as the nineteenth recipient of the William O. Douglas Award.  The Douglas Award, instituted by ASECA in 1992, is conferred annually on an SEC alumnus who has contributed to the development of federal securities laws or served the financial and SEC community with distinction.

Mr. Pitt is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the global strategic business consulting firm, Kalorama Partners, LLC, and its law firm affiliate, Kalorama Legal Services, PLLC.  Prior to their founding, Mr. Pitt served as Chairman of the SEC from 2001 until 2003.  He was responsible, among other things, for overseeing the SEC’s response to the market disruptions resulting from the terrorist attacks of 9/11, for creating the SEC’s “real time enforcement” program, and for leading the Commission’s adoption of dozens of rules in response to the corporate and accounting crises generated by the excesses of the 1990s. 

Former Chairman Pitt joined the SEC immediately after graduating from law school in 1968.  Starting as a Staff Attorney in the Commission’s General Counsel’s Office, Mr. Pitt served for over ten years in a variety of increasingly responsible positions, including Legal Assistant to former SEC Commissioner Francis M. Wheat; author of the Wheat Report that served as the basis for the Commission’s integration of the Securities Act with the Securities Exchange Act; Special Counsel in the SEC General Counsel’s Office; editor of the Commission’s Institutional Investor Study; and first Chief Counsel of the then newly-formed Division of Market Regulation.  In 1973, Mr. Pitt was appointed Executive Assistant (Chief of Staff) to SEC Chairman Ray Garrett, Jr., and in 1975, at the age of 30, Mr. Pitt became the SEC’s youngest General Counsel, serving in that role from 1975-1978.  From 1968-1978, Mr. Pitt served seven SEC Chairmen, and was the recipient of the Commission’s Distinguished Service Award.

After leaving the SEC staff in 1978, Mr. Pitt became a corporate partner at a major New York law firm, where he practiced law for nearly twenty-five years, representing major corporations, the accounting profession (and the eight largest accounting firms individually), every major securities firm in the U.S. and Europe, and a host of other clients.  He was a founding trustee and first President of the SEC Historical Society, and served on the Board of ASECA in its early years.  He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown, George Washington, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale law schools.  He is a frequent analyst on CNBC, Fox Business News, Bloomberg TV-Radio, CNN, Reuters, CBS and ABC.  

Mr. Pitt received a J.D. degree from St. John’s University School of Law (1968), and his B.A. from the City University of New York (Brooklyn College) (1965).  He was awarded an honorary LL.D. by St. John’s University in June 2002, and was given the Brooklyn College President’s Medal of Distinction in 2003.