|14th Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission|
|Assumed office |
July 15, 2019
|Preceded by||J. Christopher Giancarlo|
|Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs|
April 9, 2019 – July 15, 2019
|Preceded by||David Malpass|
|Succeeded by||Brent McIntosh|
|Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Markets|
October 10, 2017 – July 15, 2019
|Succeeded by||Mitchell Silk|
Heath Price Tarbert
July 15, 1976
|Education||Mount St. Mary's University (BS)|
University of Pennsylvania (JD, SJD)
University of Oxford (MSt, DPhil)
Heath Price Tarbert (born July 15, 1976) is an American official who currently serves as the 14th Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Markets and Development and as acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.
Early life and education
The first in his family to go away to college, 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.
Tarbert began his legal career at the international law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, working there from 2003 to 2005. 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. He subsequently worked as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice from 2006 to 2007.
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. 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.
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.
Other professional roles
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.
U.S. Department of the Treasury
On April 4, 2017, the White House nominated Tarbert to become Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 27, 2017, by a vote of 87–8 and was sworn in on October 10, 2017. In April 2019, he was designated acting Under Secretary for International Affairs, following David Malpass becoming president of the World Bank Group.
As acting Under Secretary, Tarbert was 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 led the U.S. delegation at the G-7 and G-20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Deputies Meetings. Tarbert was also a member of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and served on FSB's Steering Committee and all three of its Standing Committees. He co-chaired 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.
Tarbert also served 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 Congress with bipartisan support in August 2018.
International Financial Institutions
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.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
On January 9, 2019, the White House nominated Tarbert to serve as the 14th Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. A coalition of agricultural associations endorsed Tarbert's nomination shortly before his confirmation hearing. He was then unanimously voice voted out of the Senate Agriculture Committee on April 1, 2019. 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. Tarbert was sworn in on July 15, 2019 by Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
In his role as chairman, Tarbert serves as the CFTC's chief executive, overseeing the agency's approximately 700 employees across its offices in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, New York, NY, and Kansas City, MO. As chairman, Tarbert also serves as one of ten voting members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). On June 9, 2020, Tarbert was elected vice-chair of the board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
Since taking office, Tarbert has sought to position the agency as an advocate for Main Street interests and American free enterprise. Writing in an op-ed in FoxBusiness.com, Tarbert said the agency "serves as a guardian of our free enterprise system" and that the markets the agency regulates should "serve the needs of everyday Americans." Tarbert has also reaffirmed the CFTC's historical commitment to agriculture by sponsoring the agency's Agricultural Advisory Committee. In a statement announcing his sponsorship, Tarbert said that, "America's farmers and ranchers are at the heart of the real economy and the markets we regulate." Tarbert worked to revise rules implementing the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Tarbert has presided over a historic period of activity at the agency. Since becoming chairman in 2019, the Commission has held 19 open meetings, more than the previous seven years combined. During that time, the Commission has approved 32 final rules. The agency has also brought more than 160 enforcement actions on Tarbert's watch, including an agency record 113 actions in fiscal year 2020.
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