The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Chief Economist and Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) Director Craig M. Lewis will leave the agency today. He will return to his position as the Madison S. Wigginton Professor of Finance at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
Dr. Lewis has headed the division since May 2011 and led a broad range of activities, including providing economic analysis to support SEC rulemaking and developing sophisticated analytical tools to assist in risk assessment and enforcement.
“Craig has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, judgment and vision during his tenure as chief economist,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “Under Craig’s direction, the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis has grown and thrived. I truly valued the insightful and thoughtful analysis he brought to every task. I will miss working with him and his wise counsel.”
Dr. Lewis significantly enhanced the development and use of analytical tools and models to assist the Division of Enforcement, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, and other SEC divisions and offices, including in the detection of potentially illegal activities. He also was central to the development of the 2012 guidance by staff in the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel and DERA that identifies best practices for economic analysis in support of SEC policy development and rulewriting.
In addition to being a key figure in the SEC’s ongoing commitment to economic analysis, Dr. Lewis oversaw a significant reorganization and expansion of the division as the breadth and complexity of its activities grew. DERA now has nearly 100 staff, up from 60 in 2011, with further significant expansion planned for 2014.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Commission and work with incredibly talented staff across the agency,” Dr. Lewis said. “My time here has been a busy one, and I am proud of the many ways that DERA supports the SEC’s mission. I am grateful to Chairman Schapiro for giving me the opportunity to serve as chief economist and to Chairman Walter and Chair White for allowing me to continue in that role.”
Dr. Lewis, 58, served as a visiting academic fellow in 2010 in what was then the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation. He returned in that role in 2011 and was named chief economist and director several months later. A member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1986, he practiced as a certified public accountant for Arthur Young and Company and received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Ohio State University. His doctorate in finance is from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.