One could argue that Mary Schapiro holds one of the most important—and high profile—jobs in the nation. As chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), she’s charged with the monumental task of protecting investors by policing Wall Street.
Since graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., in 1977 and then earning a Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from George Washington University in 1980, Schapiro has held numerous high-level regulatory positions. Before becoming the 29th chairman of the SEC in 2009, she was the CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and served as an SEC Commissioner from December 1988 to October 1994.
Schapiro was also named the Financial Women’s Association Public Sector Woman of the Year in 2000.
When asked by AdvisorOne to describe what it takes to be a successful woman in the financial services arena, Schapiro said in an email message July 1 that she believes that “if you love what you do, you can become very successful at it.” Schapiro added that what motivates her “is the significance of the SEC’s mission,” and that she “really enjoys that [her] job is about protecting everyone who sets out to invest in [the U.S.] markets.”