The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that Chairman Elisse B. Walter has appointed Geoffrey F. Aronow as the agency’s General Counsel. He will begin his new role later this month.
Aronow comes to the SEC from the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP, where he is a partner in the Washington D.C. office. Aronow has prior federal government leadership experience as the Director of the Division of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for nearly four years.
As the SEC’s chief legal officer, Aronow will lead the Office of the General Counsel in advising the Commission on issues ranging from enforcement actions, rulemakings, and legal proceedings in federal courts throughout the country. Aronow replaces Mark Cahn, who left the agency last week.
'Geoff brings the ideal combination of practical knowledge, expertise, and common sense that is so critical to addressing the often nuanced and difficult issues that come before the Commission', said Chairman Walter. 'Geoff is a faithful steward of the securities laws with a comprehensive understanding of law enforcement who shares our commitment to excellence and passion for investor protection'.
Aronow said, 'I’m truly honored to re-enter public service as the General Counsel at an agency with such a storied history and critical mission of investor protection and effective market oversight. It is humbling to lead a dedicated staff of so many talented and distinguished lawyers in the Office of the General Counsel, and I look forward to working with them closely as we provide the wisest advice possible to Chairman Walter, the other Commissioners, and agency staff'.
Aronow, 57, has worked at Bingham McCutchen since August 2008 and has advised clients on matters before the SEC, CFTC, and other federal agencies as well as in litigation in federal courts and on legislative initiatives before Congress. His other legal experience includes two stints as a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP (1988-1995 and 1999-2004). He worked at Heller Ehrman LLP from 2004 to 2008.
As the head of enforcement at the CFTC from September 1995 to June 1999, Aronow oversaw investigations, recommendations of action to the Commission, and litigation in federal court or administrative proceedings. He coordinated with a wide breadth of other international, federal, state and local law enforcement and regulatory authorities.
Aronow is a former member of the National Adjudicatory Council, NASD Regulation. He also served on the board of directors for the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Since 2010, Aronow has served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, where he co-teaches a seminar on futures and derivatives law. He previously served as an adjunct professor for two years at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. Aronow earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and earned his B.A. (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from Yale College.