Former Union Official to Take on New SEC Policy Role

April 23, 2021

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler announced several staffing decisions for high profile roles with the Commission, including Heather Slavkin Corzo as policy director.  In a previous role at the AFL-CIO, Ms. Corzo advocated for limitations on stock buybacks, the inclusion of employee representatives on company boards, and tighter regulations on private equity firms.

Prior to the SEC, Ms. Corzo served as the director of capital markets policy at the AFL-CIO as well as head of U.S. Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, a network of asset owners focused on ESG concerns.  Her professional experience will likely provide Mr. Gensler with a clear understanding of what labor unions and public interest advocates would like to see from the SEC. 

The policy director is a new role, perhaps indicating the Chair seeks more direct control over policy.  Previously, policy priorities were pushed directly from the SEC's regulatory divisions.  Mr. Gensler also announced one of his highest profile division leadership decisions, selecting Alex Oh to lead the Enforcement Division, which will include a new taskforce to examine misleading statements from companies regarding climate change risks. 

Outlook:  Ms. Corzo's appointment likely indicates Mr. Gensler will pursue a more progressive regulatory agenda.  She will be a key figure in efforts to require enhanced corporate disclosures regarding climate change risks and political spending.