Georgetown’s Brummer Calls for Regulators to Diversify Ranks

Financial regulators need to add more Black officials to their top ranks, which would increase awareness of how their policies affect minorities, said Chris Brummer, a Black Georgetown law professor who is among the Biden Administration’s candidates to lead the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

In its almost 90-year history, just two Black officials have led a major division at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CFTC has never tapped a Black person to head one of its most-prominent units, according to Brummer’s research.

The Georgetown professor, who gave a keynote speech at an SEC Black History month event on Wednesday, said denying Black people a voice in financial-policy debates hurts their communities.

“You have to have a dialogue with people of different perspectives to get to the right outcome,” Brummer said in an interview. “You don’t have that right now.”

Georgetown’s Brummer Calls for Regulators to Diversify Ranks

SEC and CFTC division directors, who are selected by the agencies’ chairman, are responsible for everything from managing staff to crafting new rules and deciding when to sue firms accused of wrongdoing. The new findings add to a work paper Brummer released last year that showed just 3% of the top leaders of financial regulators had been Black.

The Biden administration hasn’t announced its nominee for chairman of the CFTC, the main U.S. regulator of the global swaps market. Brummer, along with the agency’s two Democratic commissioners, Rostin Behnam and Dan Berkovitz, have been reported as possible choices. The White House has faced pressure to follow through on a promise to make the federal workforce more representative of the nation’s diversity.

Allison Herren Lee, the acting head of the SEC, and Behnam, the temporary chairman of the CFTC, both said they are committed to boosting diversity.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, pledged in a statement to continue to “hold our regulators and the entire industry accountable for increased diversity.”

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