Who Is Gary Gensler?

Gary Gensler is the current chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Nominated by President Joe Biden on Feb. 3, 2021, and confirmed by the Senate on April 14, 2021, Gensler was sworn into office on April 17, 2021. In this role, Gensler leads the SEC to ensure fair, orderly, and efficient markets, facilitate capital formation, protect investors, and build public trust in the market.

Early Life and Education

  • Gary Gensler was born on October 18, 1957, in Baltimore, MD.
  • He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Gensler began his career in 1979 at Goldman Sachs, where he became a partner in mergers & acquisitions and co-head of finance.

Government Service

  • During the Clinton administration, Gensler served as assistant secretary of the Treasury and undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance.
  • He was a senior advisor to U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes in writing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
  • Under President Obama, Gensler served as chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014, known for his tough enforcement of rules regulating the swaps market.

Chair of the SEC

  • As SEC chair, Gensler has addressed various issues including cryptocurrency oversight, insider trading, share buybacks, money market funds, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).
  • He aims to expand the whistleblower program established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
  • Gensler launched a video series called Office Hours with Gary Gensler to engage everyday investors.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Gensler is a recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award, the U.S. Treasury’s highest honor, and the 2014 Frankel Fiduciary Prize.

Teaching and Work Experience

  • Gary Gensler was a professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
  • He worked at Goldman Sachs as a partner in the Mergers & Acquisition department and co-head of Finance.

The Bottom Line

  • Gary Gensler is considered a top financial regulator and is expected to advance President Biden’s agenda for aggressive oversight of the financial industry.
  • With his background in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, Gensler supports increased oversight of the cryptocurrency industry.

Resources for Further Information on Gary Gensler and the SEC

Websites and Online Resources:

  1. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): The official website of the SEC provides a wealth of information about the commission, its role, regulations, and enforcement actions.
  2. MIT Sloan School of Management: The website of the MIT Sloan School of Management offers information on Gary Gensler’s tenure as a professor and his work in global economics and management.


  1. “The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity” by Richard Florida: This book explores the aftermath of the financial crisis and the role of regulatory bodies, including the SEC, in shaping the future of the economy.
  2. “The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire” by Neil Irwin: This book provides insights into the role of financial regulators, including the SEC, during times of economic turmoil.

Academic Journals and Research Papers:

  1. “The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and Its Effects on Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting” by Jagdish Pathak: This academic paper examines the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, co-authored by Gary Gensler, on corporate governance and financial reporting.
  2. “Regulatory Capture and the SEC” by J.W. Verret: This research paper explores the concept of regulatory capture and its implications for the SEC’s effectiveness as a regulatory agency.

Reports and Studies:

  1. “SEC Priorities for 2022: Protecting Investors, Facilitating Capital Formation, and Maintaining Fair and Orderly Markets” by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: This report outlines the SEC’s priorities and areas of focus for the year.
  2. “The State of Investor Protection 2021” by the Council of Institutional Investors: This report assesses the current state of investor protection and highlights areas for improvement.

Professional Organizations and Associations:

  1. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA): FINRA is a self-regulatory organization that oversees broker-dealers and securities firms. Their website provides valuable information on regulations and investor protection.
  2. American Bar Association (ABA) – Section of Business Law: The ABA’s Business Law Section offers resources and insights on securities regulation, corporate governance, and related legal topics.

Note: Additional resources and information can be found through academic databases, financial news outlets, and government publications.