Obama picks Stein and Piwowar for SEC

President Obama late Thursday nominated two top Senate staffers to fill vacancies expected later this year on the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kara M. Stein, a legal counsel and senior policy adviser to Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), would fill a Democratic slot left open by commissioner Elisse B. Walter. Walter can serve until the end of the year or until a replacement is confirmed.

Michael S. Piwowar, a chief economist for the Senate banking committee since 2009, would replace commissioner Troy A. Paredes, whose term ends in June. Piwowar spent a four years at the SEC earlier in his career, as an economist and visiting scholar.

The duo face confirmation hearings before the Senate banking committee, possibly this summer.

Both Piwowar and Stein have been rumored as potential candidates before. If confirmed, they will join new SEC Chairman Mary Jo White, Democratic commissioner Luis A. Aguilar and Republican commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher.

On Thursday, the chairman of the banking committee, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), had kind words for both nominees.

He praised Stein’s “superb work” for Reed on the committee’s issues for more than a decade and Piwowar’s “extensive” experience on securities matters.

Dina ElBoghdady covers housing policy for The Washington Post.
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