Heath Tarbert

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Heath Tarbert
Heath Tarbert official photo.jpg
Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Assumed office
July 15, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJ. Christopher Giancarlo
Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs
Assumed office
April 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byDavid Malpass
Personal details
Heath Price Tarbert

(1976-07-15) July 15, 1976 (age 43)
Baltimore, Maryland
EducationMount St. Mary's University (BS)
University of Pennsylvania Law School (JD, SJD)
University of Oxford (MSt, DPhil)

Heath Price Tarbert (born July 15, 1976) is an American official who serves as the acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs[1] and is the 14th Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Early life and education[edit]

Tarbert was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended Calvert Hall College High School, a private Catholic preparatory school. While in high school, he became an Eagle Scout.[2][3][2]

In 1998 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and international business in 1998 from Mount St. Mary's University. He then attended University of Pennsylvania Law School, receiving a Juris Doctor in 2001 and a Doctor of Juridical Science in 2002. Tarbert later obtained a Master of Studies and a Doctor of Philosophy in comparative law from Oxford University in 2005, where he was a Thouron Scholar.[4][5][6]


Early career[edit]

Tarbert began his legal career at the international law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, working there from 2003 to 2005.[4] He then served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2005 to 2006.[7] He subsequently worked as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice from 2006 to 2007.[7]

From 2007 to 2008, Tarbert was a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States.

From 2008 to 2009, he served as Associate Counsel to the President of the United States, providing legal advice to the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers.[8] In that role, he advised senior White House and Cabinet officials on issues related to the U.S. Government's response to the financial crisis.[9][10]

From 2009 to 2010, Tarbert served as Special Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. During his tenure, he participated in negotiations that eventually led to passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[8][11][10]

From 2010 to 2013, Tarbert was a senior counsel, and subsequently partner, at the law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges, where he led the Financial Regulatory Reform Working Group.[8]

In 2014, Tarbert joined Allen & Overy as partner and head of the law firm's U.S. bank regulatory group.[7]

Other professional roles[edit]

Tarbert has served as the Chairman of the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Systemically Important Financial Institutions, Legal Adviser to the Systemic Risk Council, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems, Deputy Director of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, and a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. Tarbert is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association.[12]

Tarbert is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He is both a U.S. attorney-at-law and a UK-qualified lawyer (solicitor).

U.S. Department of the Treasury[edit]

Tarbert was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for International Markets on October 10, 2017.  In April 2019, he was designated acting Under Secretary for International Affairs.[13]

As acting Under Secretary, Tarbert is charged with advancing U.S. interests in multilateral organizations on financial stability and regulatory issues, while promoting growth, negotiating trade agreements, and advocating for standards that level the playing field for U.S. firms. He leads the U.S. delegation at the G-7 and G-20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Deputies Meetings. Tarbert is also a member of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and serves on FSB’s Steering Committee and all three of its Standing Committees. He co-chairs the U.S.-EU Financial Regulatory Forum and the U.S.-UK Financial Regulatory Working Group, both of which focus on enhancing financial regulatory cooperation with key counterparts and advancing U.S. economic interests.[1] 

Tarbert also serves as policy chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which seeks to promote U.S. investments while protecting national security. In this role, Tarbert was a key architect of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), which passed with bipartisan support in August 2018.[14]

International Financial Institutions[edit]

While at Treasury, Tarbert concurrently served as the acting U.S. Executive Director on the Board of the World Bank Group from 2017 to 2018, where he worked to negotiate a capital package that resulted in institutional reforms, including new financial discipline mechanisms and policies shifting a higher proportion of funding to poorer countries.[2]

Tarbert has also served as acting U.S. Governor and acting U.S. Executive Director of the Asian Development Bank and as acting U.S. Governor of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission[edit]

On January 9, 2019, the White House nominated Tarbert to serve as the 14th Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.[15] A coalition of agricultural associations endorsed[15] Tarbert’s nomination shortly before his confirmation hearing.[16] He was then unanimously voice voted out of the Senate Agriculture Committee on April 1, 2019.[17] On June 5, 2019, the United States Senate voted 85–9 to confirm Tarbert as a commissioner for a term ending April 13, 2024, and on the same day voted 84–9 to confirm him as chairman.

Personal life[edit]

Heath Tarbert is married to Kathryn "Kate" (Komp) Tarbert, whom he met while they both clerked for Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2005 to 2006.[18][19]


  1. ^ "Heath P. Tarbert | U.S. Department of the Treasury". home.treasury.gov. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  2. ^ a b "The Gettysburg Times from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on December 15, 1997 · Page 7". Newspapers.com. 1997-12-15. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  3. ^ "Spirit of Adventure: Eagle Scouts and the Making of America's Future - Alvin Townley - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  4. ^ a b "Alumni US | Mount St. Mary's University, Baltimore, Maryland Area". alumnius.net. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  5. ^ "Honors & Other Things - Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 26, 3/20/2001". Upenn.edu. 2001-03-20. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  6. ^ "Newsletter" (PDF). www.thouronaward.org. 2008. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  7. ^ a b c "Heath Tarbert". www.allenovery.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  8. ^ a b c "Program Advisory Board - Mount St. Mary's University". Mount St. Mary's University. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  9. ^ "Harvard Law School appoints Dr. Heath Tarbert as a fellow of the Program on International Financial Systems". Harvard Law Today. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  10. ^ a b "Rising Star: Weil Gotshal's Heath Tarbert - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  11. ^ "PN173 - Nomination of Heath P. Tarbert for Department of the Treasury, 115th Congress (2017-2018)". www.congress.gov. 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  12. ^ "Heath P. Tarbert". www.treasury.gov. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  13. ^ "Heath P. Tarbert | U.S. Department of the Treasury". home.treasury.gov. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  14. ^ "Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018" (PDF).
  15. ^ "Tarbert Support Letter" (PDF).
  16. ^ Testimony, Download. "Nomination of Heath P. Tarbert | The United States Senate Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry". www.agriculture.senate.gov. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  17. ^ "Business Meeting on the Nomination of Heath P. Tarbert, of Maryland, to be Chairman and a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Kate (Komp) Tarbert '05 to clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts - Vanderbilt Lawyer (Volume 38, Number 2)". law.vanderbilt.edu.
  19. ^ Scarcella, Mike; December 12, C. Ryan Barber; PM, 2018 at 12:24. "Former $1M+ Allen & Overy Partner Gets Trump Nod to Lead Commodities Agency". National Law Journal.