SEC Names New Chairperson, Board Members for PCAOB

The SEC has appointed Erica Williams as chairperson of PCAOB. She succeeds Duane DesParte, who will continue on as a PCAOB board member and will remain as acting chairperson until Williams is sworn in.

Williams has spent more than a decade in various roles at the SEC, including as deputy chief of staff to three former SEC chairs and assistant chief litigation counsel in the division of enforcement trial unit. After leaving the SEC, she served as special assistant and associate counsel to President Obama with a focus on financial and economic policy issues. Williams is a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

In addition to appointing Williams as chairperson, the SEC also added the following three new PCAOB board members:

  • Christina Ho has 28 years of broad experience in public finance, policy development, accounting and auditing, disclosure modernization, data analytics and technology innovation. She previously served as the deputy assistant secretary for financial transparency and accounting policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and was most recently VP of government analytics and innovation at Elder Research.
  • Kara Stein served as an SEC commissioner from 2013 to 2019. She serves as a distinguished policy fellow and lecturer-in-law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and is director of the AI, data and capital markets initiative at the Center on Innovation, University of California Hastings Law.
  • Anthony Thompson serves as the executive director and chief administrative officer of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where he oversees the division of administration. Before joining the CFTC in 2011, Thompson held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Finance is about trust, and the PCAOB has a critical role to play in ensuring that public company financial disclosures can be trusted by investors,” says SEC chair Gary Gensler. “With these additions to the board, the PCAOB will have the leadership to meet the mission given to it by Congress. Erica, Christina, Kara and Tony have demonstrated deep commitment to public service. They will represent the interests of investors and the public at the PCAOB. I would like to thank Duane DesParte for his valuable service as acting chairperson during the last several months, and I am pleased that he will stay on as a key member of the board.”

The SEC oversees PCAOB, created as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation in 2002; PCAOB, in turn, oversees public audits.

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