Obama’s Associate Counsel Small Named SEC General Counsel

Small will be the first female general counsel at the agency

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The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday that Anne Small, President Barack Obama’s special assistant and associate counsel, has been named general counsel of the agency.

Small, who has been serving in the White House Counsel’s Office since October 2011, has advised Obama on legal policy questions with a focus on economic issues.

Small previously worked at the SEC as deputy general counsel for litigation and adjudication, helping to oversee enforcement matters, appellate cases and adjudications.

Small, the first woman to be named general counsel of the SEC, is expected to arrive at the agency soon, the SEC says, and will succeed Geoffrey Aronow, who will become a senior counsel to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White.

“I’m delighted that Annie will be returning to the agency at a time when our rule writing is in full swing and our enforcement program continues to pursue cases involving some of the most complex transactions,” said White, in a statement. “The commission will benefit from her experience, judgment and tremendous talent.”

Before entering government, Small worked at WilmerHale, where she was a partner in the firm’s litigation department. She was involved in commercial and securities litigation, a broad range of civil and criminal matters, and trial and appellate work.

 “It is an honor to return to the commission,” Small said in the same statement. “I am looking forward to working with the talented staff in the General Counsel’s Office and serving Chairman White and the other commissioners in the agency’s efforts to protect investors.”

Small began her law career as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the Supreme Court. She received her J.D. in 2001 from Harvard Law School, where she was awarded the Sears Prize and served as president of the Harvard Law Review. She earned her B.A. from Yale University in 1996.

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