President-elect Donald Trump is considering nominating ex-U.S. attorney Debra Wong Yang to run the Securities and Exchange Commission, positioning her to be the second consecutive former federal prosecutor to lead Wall Street’s top regulator, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
While Trump and his transition team have spoken with a handful of candidates, Yang is the top contender to be SEC chairman, said the person, who asked not to be named because the incoming president hasn’t announced his pick. Yang, who is now a partner at law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, would replace Mary Jo White, who has said she will step down at the end of the Obama administration.
Trump hasn’t made a decision about who should lead the SEC, said Jason Miller, a spokesmen for the president-elect. Yang didn’t immediately return an e-mail or phone call seeking comment.
Yang joined Gibson Dunn in 2006 after serving as a U.S. attorney in Los Angeles during George W. Bush’s presidency. With a background as a government lawyer and in private practice, she has had stints going after companies and defending them.
In favoring an ex-prosecutor, Trump is emphasizing the SEC’s role in investigating corporate wrongdoing rather than its more mundane — though often as important — policy-making side. Yang’s lack of experience in securities regulation could present challenges for her in trying to quickly roll back rules stemming from the Dodd-Frank Act, a priority of many Republican lawmakers and Wall Street firms.