SEC commissioner Allison Lee departs, readying financial regulator for Jaime Lizárraga

SEC commissioner Allison Lee departs, readying financial regulator for Jaime Lizárraga

Allison Herren Lee was one of five United States Securities and Exchange Commission board members who has officially resigned after serving more than three years as a Commissioner.

Friday’s announcement by chair Gary Gensler, Mark Uyeda and Caroline Crenshaw stated that Lee had left the SEC. She was originally employed as a staff lawyer in the enforcement division of the agency at a Denver regional office in 2005. Under the former presidential administration she was appointed as a commissioner in 2019. She then served three months as acting chair of the regulatory body until Gensler’s confirmation.

“Commissioner Lee was a strong advocate for stable markets and has stressed the importance of market participants adhering to the highest ethical standards,” stated the remaining commissioners in a joint declaration.

Lee announced her resignation from the SEC in March. President Joe Biden nominated Jaime Lizarraga in April as her replacement. Lizarraga is a House Speaker Nancy Pelosi staffer. On June 16, Lizarraga was nominated by the Senate for a term that will end on June 5, 2027.

Congratulations, Mark Uyeda and Jaime Lizarraga, on being nominated to be Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission: https://t.co/IkB7XTUuEY
— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) April 6, 2022

Lee stated that the SEC needed to “evolve to changing technologies” during her tenure, referring to crypto regulation. However, she also said that the government should still adhere to its principles. Lizarraga has made very few, if any, public statements about crypto and blockchain. Pelosi staffer, who was involved in the preparation of legislation to address the 2008 financial crisis, was part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

Related: SEC doubles down in crypto regulation through expanding unit

Along with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), the SEC handles digital asset regulation in America. However, each jurisdiction has different claims. This creates a patchwork approach that crypto companies must use to function. It is unclear how the departure of Lee or the addition of Lizarraga might impact regulation and enforcement in the crypto space.

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