A tribute to CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers

Ms. Sommers will be leaving the Commodity Futures Trading Commission soon after years of unfailing service and grace. She is irreplaceable and will be missed.

While Commissioner Sommers never shied from tough assignments, including her leadership during the MF Global review, she worked with a warmth and dignity that few mortals can muster, and she did it in a quiet way.

My favorite moment was when I brought my students from George Washington University Law School to the CFTC to see and hear from its staff in real time about its operations, a subject that I had covered in lectures over many weeks. Why I had not thought to do this sooner (we were only a few blocks away) escapes me, but better late than never.

I did not ask for the personal time of any of the Commissioners but Jill was one of the first to arrive on her own initiative. She spoke at length with the students and was the high point of the meeting.

The CFTC Conference Center where we gathered contained large photos of all past Chairpersons and Commissioners, including yours truly. My photo was of a much younger, obviously more fit, individual. I will always appreciate that Jill did not make note of that fact, as tempting as it must have been, but it is simply not in her nature to do such a thing.

For those of us who take great pride from our association with the CFTC, we can only wish Jill the very best as she moves ever onward and upward. Her absence will be obvious but her legacy will endure.

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