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SEC Names Two to Trading and Markets Division, Appoints New Deputy Chief of Staff

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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced three executive appointments: James McNamara has been named to the newly created position of managing executive at the Division of Trading and Markets, and James Burns will become a deputy director within the same division. Erica Williams will become the SEC’s deputy chief of staff, replacing Burns.

McNamara is currently an assistant director in the SEC’s Office of Financial Management. In his new position he will be responsible for the administrative and operational aspects of the Division of Trading and Markets, including human resources, budget, information technology and strategic planning.

McNamara previously worked in the Division of Trading and Markets from 2003 to 2005, when he served as a branch chief for administration. He then moved to the Office of Financial Management and became a branch chief for budget formulation and performance management until 2006, when he left to work in the private sector. McNamara returned to the SEC’s Office of Financial Management in 2010, serving as the agency’s budget officer for a year before becoming an assistant director. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University.

Burns will oversee several of the division’s core regulatory functions, including market oversight and operations, derivatives policy and trading practices, and chief counsel and enforcement liaison functions. He also will contribute to the division’s ongoing implementation of key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and will assist with the overall management of the division, working closely with the Division’s director, Robert Cook, and other deputy director, John Ramsay.

Burns has been a member of SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro’s staff since March 2010, most recently serving as the agency’s deputy chief of staff. He advised Schapiro on the development and execution of the agency’s rulemaking and policy agenda as well as other key agency initiatives, and also served as counsel to her on issues involving the Division of Trading and Markets, including the agency’s analysis and response to the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010, and numerous other market structure and Dodd-Frank related rulemaking, studies and programs.

Burns is expected to begin his new role in the division in late May. He fills the deputy director position that was vacated by James Brigagliano when he left the agency for the private sector.

Williams, who has been a member of Schapiro’s staff since February 2011, primarily focusing on enforcement and regulatory issues, replaces Burns. She received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.