Heath Tarbert, currently acting under secretary for international affairs at the US Department of the Treasury, has been confirmed by the Senate as a member and the next chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
He will replace outgoing CFTC chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, on July 15.
“I would like to extend enthusiastic congratulations to Dr. Heath Tarbert on the Senate passage of his nomination to be the next chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He is highly qualified to lead the agency,” says Giancarlo in a statement issued today.
Tarbert was handed his current role at the Treasury on April 16, 2019, prior to which he had been assistant secretary for international markets since October 10, 2017.
As acting under secretary, Tarbert is responsible for advancing US interests in multilateral organisations on financial stability and regulatory issues, while promoting growth, negotiating trade agreements, and advocating for standards that level the playing field for US firms. He is a member of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and serves on FSB’s Steering Committee and all three of its Standing Committees. He is also co-chair of the US-EU Financial Regulatory Forum and US-UK Financial Regulatory Working Group, both of which focus on enhancing financial regulatory cooperation with key counterparts and advancing U.S. economic interests.
Tarbert also serves as policy chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which seeks to promote US investments while protecting national security. In this role, he worked closely with Congress and other stakeholders to draft and enact the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernisation Act (FIRRMA), which passed with bipartisan support in August 2018.
While serving as assistant secretary, Tarbert concurrently served as acting US executive director on the board of the World Bank Group from 2017-2018 where he worked to negotiate a capital package that resulted in institutional reforms, including new financial discipline mechanisms and policies shifting a higher proportion of funding to poorer countries. Additionally, he oversaw the consideration of development loans across a range of sectors, including agriculture, education, health, and infrastructure.
Prior to his Treasury Department service, Tarbert was most recently a partner at the international law firm of Allen & Overy, where he was a leader in its global financial regulatory practice. He previously served in all three branches of the US government, including as special counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, as associate counsel to President George W. Bush, and as a law clerk to chief judge Douglas Ginsburg of the US Court of Appeals of the DC Circuit and then to justice Clarence Thomas of the US Supreme Court.
In addition to his government service, Tarbert has been the chairman of the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Systemically Important Financial Institutions, legal adviser to the Systemic Risk Council, senior fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems, deputy director of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, and a member of The Bretton Woods Committee. He has also served on the board of advisors for the Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation.
“We congratulate Heath Tarbert on his confirmation as CFTC chairman. Chairman Tarbert’s experience at the Treasury, FSB and elsewhere in government, plus time in the private sector, put him in a strong position to lead the CFTC going forward. We look forward to working with chairman Tarbert and commissioners Behnam, Berkovitz, Quintenz and Stump. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Christopher Giancarlo for all of his work in protecting the safety and soundness of the global financial community, and to wish him well for the future,” says the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) in a statement released today.