Senate Confirms New SEC Commissioners
The U.S. Senate confirmed Jaime Lizárraga and Mark Uyeda to serve as SEC Commissioners on June 16, 2022. With these appointments, the SEC will return to a full slate of five Commissioners. Uyeda fills the position most recently held by Elad Roisman, and Lizárraga is taking over for departing Commissioner and former Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee.
Lizárraga and Uyeda are returning to an agency where each previously served. Uyeda has a long history as an SEC attorney, having served in a variety of roles at the agency. Most recently, he served as the agency's detailee to the Senate Banking Committee. Lizárraga joins the SEC from service as a senior adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The SEC is led by five presidentially appointed Commissioners, each of whom serves five-year staggered terms. By design, no more than three Commissioners may belong to the same political party. Although Uyeda will join Hester Peirce as a Republican on the Commission, the agency will still be a 3-2 Democrat-led majority with the addition of Lizárraga. For this reason, we do not expect to see significant changes in the priorities or pace of work observed under SEC Chair Gary Gensler's leadership to date or after the midterm elections.
As new Commissioners, Lizárraga and Uyeda will help lead an agency that, under Gensler, is engaged in extensive rulemaking efforts, including in frontline areas such as digital assets, cybersecurity, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), and environmental, social and governance (ESG), which the SECond Opinions Blog actively covers. And with the SEC still releasing new rule proposals, comment periods closing on prior proposals such as the agency's sweeping rule proposal covering public company climate disclosures, and its Sept. 30 fiscal-year end quickly approaching, it's safe to say the newest commissioners will be off to a busy start.
As always, the Holland & Knight SECond Opinions Blog will be here to cover news from, and about, the SEC. If you need any additional information on this topic – or anything related to SEC enforcement or internal investigations – please contact the authors or another member of Holland & Knight's Securities Enforcement Defense Team.