Biden appoints Emory professor, former student in key business-related positions

President Joe Biden appointed an Emory teacher and a former Emory student in key business positions on September 13. Asa Griggs Candler, Professor of Law, Kristin Johnson, has been appointed Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Principal Member and Director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall Fund Reta Jo Lewis (89L) for Chairman and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

These appointments bolstered Biden’s attempts to back up liberal majorities in two large federal agencies.

The CFTC regulates US derivatives markets, including futures, swaps and other options. Financial options are stocks whose value depends on future estimates and not on current amounts. This allows holders to bet on the future prospects of a business. The CFTC’s mission statement is To “Promote the integrity, resilience and vibrancy of the US derivatives markets through sound regulation.” ”

After a flurry of regulations at the end of last year, the agency recently be under fire lack of regulation of the cryptocurrency markets. Although the Biden administration has recognized this as a priority, a partisan deadlock has prevented the passage of many new regulations.

Kristin johnson

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Kristin Johnson. Photo courtesy of Emory University

Johnson is internationally recognized for her work on financial market regulation and corporate governance. His recent work investigation new financial technologies such as blockchain and digital assets.

Johnson’s appointment is expected Urging the commission to introduce new regulations for cryptocurrency and break the deadlock that has emerged, two priorities for a Biden administration keen to bring government control over the cryptocurrency market.

Johnson joined the University in 2021 after working as the McGlinchey Stafford Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Research at Tulane University School of Law (La.). Prior to working at Tulane, Johnson was an analyst at Goldman Sachs, then Deputy General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase, advising clients on foreign and domestic financial transactions. Johnson is a graduate of Georgetown University (DC) and the University of Michigan Law School, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a member of the American Bar Association.

Reta Jo Lewis

Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall Fund Reta Jo Lewis (89L). Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1934, the Export-Import Bank supports US exports through a variety of programs, including loan guarantees to foreign buyers, credit insurance, and direct loans to foreign companies.

The bank came before under the Republicans fire and was almost dissolved. However, a turnaround by former President Donald Trump in 2020 led to the agency’s renewal for seven years. U.S. businesses became more bank-friendly as Trump sought to reduce the U.S. trade deficit.

If confirmed by the Senate, Lewis will become the first person of color to lead the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Lewis graduated from Emory University Law School in 1989 with a BA in Political Science from the University of Georgia and an MA from American University (DC).

Lewis is currently a member of the US Council on Foreign Relations and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security. Previously, she was a lawyer in private practice and was Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs at the United States Department of State under the direction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She also worked as a special political assistant to former President Bill Clinton.

Johnson and Lewis will both need to be confirmed by the Senate in order to fulfill their roles. The White House has asked them not to comment at this time.

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