General counsel leaving SEC

Washington, D.C., Feb. 1, 2011 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that General Counsel and Senior Policy Director David M. Becker will leave the Commission at the end of February to return to the private sector.

Mr. Becker has been the agency’s chief legal officer and a senior advisor to Chairman Schapiro since February 2009. During his tenure, he helped shape most of the SEC’s major policy and regulatory initiatives and counseled the Commission on virtually every matter that has come before it.

“David’s wise counsel has guided the Commission through a gauntlet of complex legal and policy issues. His experience and deep knowledge of the Commission and the securities laws has served the agency and the American people brilliantly,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “Although I knew this was a two-year commitment, I am sorry this day has approached so fast.”

Mr. Becker said, “I leave the Commission with the greatest regret. It has been a privilege and a joy to have been a part of the Commission staff and to have worked with dedicated and talented colleagues in the Office of General Counsel and throughout the SEC. I owe particular thanks to Chairman Schapiro for her confidence, leadership, and support. She is making an incalculable difference for the Commission and for investors.”

Mr. Becker previously served as General Counsel under Chairmen Harvey Pitt and Arthur Levitt. He first joined the SEC staff in October 1998 as Deputy General Counsel. In January 2000, Mr. Becker was elevated to General Counsel. Upon leaving the Commission in 2002, he served as a partner at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

Mr. Becker began his legal career as law clerk to Judge Harold Leventhal of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and for Associate Justice (Retired) Stanley Reed of the Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review.

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