Michael Piwowar (pictured) was named acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Piwowar, who has served as an SEC Commissioner since August 2013, will head the agency until the Senate confirms the nomination of Jay Clayton, a partner at the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, as chairman.
Separately, the SEC announced several changes in its senior staff. Anne Small stepped down as general counsel. Sanket Bulsara, deputy general counsel for appellate litigation, adjudication, and enforcement division as acting director, filling a vacancy created by the departure of enforcement, was named acting general counsel. Stephanie Avakian was promoted to acting director of the SEC's division of enforcement. She replaced Andrew Ceresney, who moved to the law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton as co-chair of the litigation department.
Scott Bauguess was named acting chief economist. He replaced Mark Flannery, who returned to teaching at the University of Florida. Narahari Phatak was named associate director for policy in the division of economic and risk analysis. Phatak, an economist who joined the SEC in 2012, will oversee the division's economic input on policy issues related to market structure, financial intermediaries and other issues. Wenchi Hu, an associate director in the SEC's division of trading and markets, left the agency in February. She headed the division's office of clearance and settlement supervision since August 2015.