SEC Chief Economist, Head of Economic Analysis Departs

Craig Lewis, who leaves Friday, will return to Vanderbilt University

SEC headquarters in Washington. SEC headquarters in Washington.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday that Craig Lewis, chief economist and director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, will leave the agency effective immediately.

Lewis, 58, who has headed the division since May 2011, will return to his position as the Madison S. Wigginton professor of finance at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

He led a broad range of activities, including providing economic analysis to support SEC rulemaking and developing sophisticated analytical tools to assist in risk assessment and enforcement.

“Craig has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, judgment and vision during his tenure as chief economist,” said SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, in a statement. “Under Craig’s direction, the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis has grown and thrived. I truly valued the insightful and thoughtful analysis he brought to every task. I will miss working with him and his wise counsel.”

The SEC credits Lewis with “significantly enhancing” the development and use of analytical tools and models to assist the Division of Enforcement, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, and other SEC divisions and offices, including in the detection of potentially illegal activities.

He also was “central to the development of the 2012 guidance by staff in the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel and DERA that identifies best practices for economic analysis in support of SEC policy development and rulewriting,” the SEC says.

DERA now has nearly 100 staff, up from 60 in 2011, with further significant expansion planned for 2014, the SEC says.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Commission and work with incredibly talented staff across the agency,” said Lewis said, in the statement. “My time here has been a busy one, and I am proud of the many ways that DERA supports the SEC’s mission.”

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Check out Mary Jo White: The 2014 IA 25 Extended Profile on ThinkAdvisor.

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