On December 19, 2013 President Obama nominated Sharon Y. Bowen to serve as a Commissioner of the CFTC.  If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Bowen would assume the seat currently occupied by Commissioner Bart Chilton, a Democrat.

Ms. Bowen is currently a securities lawyer at Latham & Watkins LLP in New York.  Ms. Bowen was previously appointed by the Obama administration and currently serves as Acting Chair of the Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).  In the wake of several prominent enforcement actions related to the misappropriation of customer funds, namely the MF Global and Peregrine Finance matters, there have been several proposals for enhanced protection of customer funds.  It is possible that Ms. Bowen’s experience at SIPC could serve as an important resource for the Commission as it considers future proposals for enhanced customer protection.

With the nomination of Ms. Bowen, President Obama has now sent nominations to the Senate for all of the imminent vacancies on the Commission.  As previously noted, President Obama has nominated Timothy Massad to succeed Chairman Gensler, who is said to be departing the CFTC on January 3, and Christopher Giancarlo, who will fill the seat vacated by former Commissioner Jill Sommers.  The Senate is expected to consider the nominations during the first quarter of 2014.

The new Commission will continue to address questions related to the implementation of the CFTC’s Dodd-Frank regulations, including cross-border matters, and is also expected to authorize the initiation of enforcement investigations and cases related to the CFTC’s new authorities to police the swaps markets.