DERA was created in 2009 to integrate financial economics and rigorous data analytics into the core mission and operations of the SEC. As director, Harris will lead DERA’s team of economists across the entire range of SEC activities, including policy, rulemaking, enforcement, and examination.
“Dr. Harris’s extensive research on securities and commodities issues and experience in government, academia, and the private sector make him a great fit to lead DERA’s team of dedicated economists,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said. “I am confident that DERA will continue to provide the SEC’s staff and the Commission with the valuable economic analysis, research, and support they need.”
Harris replaces former director Mark Flannery who left the agency to return to teaching.
“The team at DERA is one of the most well-respected and talented groups of economists in public service and it is an honor to join their ranks. I look forward to working with my new team, agency staff, and the Commissioners as we work to fulfill the SEC’s mission,” Harris said.
Harris is currently a professor and the Gary D. Cohn Goldman Sachs Chair in Finance at Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C. He has an extensive background in market microstructure and regulatory issues. He recently served as chief economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with prior experience as visiting academic at the Nasdaq Stock Market and at the SEC.
Previously, he held faculty appointments as the Dean’s chair in finance at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and the Collins Chair of Finance in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
Harris’s research has appeared in the Energy Journal, European Financial Management, The Financial Review, the Journal of Investment Management, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Futures Markets, and the Review of Financial Studies, among others. He holds an undergraduate degree and M.B.A. from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in Finance from Ohio State University.
DERA relies on a variety of academic disciplines, quantitative and non-quantitative approaches, and knowledge of market institutions and practices to help the commission approach complex matters and conduct economic analysis in a fresh light. DERA also assists in the commission’s efforts to identify, analyze, and respond to risks and trends, including those associated with new financial products and strategies. Through the range and nature of its activities, DERA serves the critical function of promoting collaborative efforts throughout the agency and breaking through silos that might otherwise limit the impact of the agency’s institutional expertise.