Christopher Cox is the 28th
Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He
was appointed by President Bush on June 2, 2005, and unanimously
confirmed by the Senate on July 29, 2005. He was sworn
in on August 3, 2005.
During his tenure at the SEC, Chairman Cox has made vigorous
enforcement of the securities laws the agency's top priority,
bringing ground breaking cases against a variety of market
abuses including hedge fund insider trading, stock options
backdating, fraud aimed at senior citizens, municipal securities
fraud, and securities scams on the Internet. He has assumed
leadership of the international effort to more closely
integrate U.S. and overseas regulation in an era of global
capital markets and international securities exchanges.
He has also championed transforming the SEC's system of
mandated disclosure from a static, form-based approach
to one that taps the power of interactive data to give
investors qualitatively better information about companies,
mutual funds, and investments of all kinds. In addition,
as part of an overall focus on the needs of individual
investors, Chairman Cox has reinvigorated the agency's
initiative to provide important investor information in
For 10 of his 17 years in Congress, Chairman Cox served
in the Majority Leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.
He was Chairman of the House Policy Committee; Chairman
of the Committee on Homeland Security; Chairman of the
Select Committee on U.S. National Security; Chairman of
the Select Committee on Homeland Security (the predecessor
to the permanent House Committee); Chairman of the Task
Force on Capital Markets; and Chairman of the Task Force
on Budget Process Reform.
In addition, he served in a leadership capacity as a senior
Member of every committee with jurisdiction over investor
protection and U.S. capital markets, including the House
Energy and Commerce Committee (as Vice Chairman of the
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee); the Financial
Services Committee; the Government Reform Committee (as
Vice Chairman of the full Committee); the Joint Economic
Committee; and the Budget Committee.
Among the significant laws
he authored were the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act, which protects investors from fraudulent lawsuits,
and the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which protects Internet
users from multiple and discriminatory taxation. His
legislative efforts to eliminate the double tax on shareholder
dividends — the subject of a thesis
he authored at Harvard University in 1977 — led
to the enactment in May 2003 of legislation that cut the
double tax by more than half.
Chairman Cox also served as Co-Chairman of the Bipartisan
Study Group on Enhancing Multilateral Export Controls,
which published a unanimous report in 2001. In 1994 he
was appointed by President Clinton to the Bipartisan Commission
on Entitlement and Tax Reform, which published its unanimous
report in 1995.
From 1986 until 1988, Chairman Cox served in the White
House as Senior Associate Counsel to the President. In
that capacity, he advised the President on a wide range
of matters, including the nomination of three U.S. Supreme
Court Justices, reform of the federal budget process, and
the 1987 stock market crash.
From 1978 to 1986, he specialized
in venture capital and corporate finance with the international
law firm of Latham & Watkins,
where he was the partner in charge of the Corporate Department
in Orange County and a member of the firm's national management.
In 1982-83, Chairman Cox
took a leave of absence from Latham & Watkins to
teach federal income tax at Harvard Business School.
He also co-founded Context Corporation, publisher of
the English translation of the Soviet Union's daily newspaper,
Pravda. In 1977-78, he was law clerk to U.S. Court of
Appeals Judge Herbert Choy.
In 1977, Chairman Cox simultaneously received an M.B.A.
from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Harvard Law
School, where he was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
He received a B.A. from the University of Southern California
in 1973, graduating magna cum laude after pursuing an accelerated
Chairman Cox was born October 16, 1952, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He and his wife Rebecca have three children.