Rostin Behnam was named acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Heath P. Tarbert, who served as chairman since July 2019, announced plans to step down from the role last month and did so Thursday. He currently remains one of the agency's five commissioners, with a term expiring in April 2024.
Mr. Behnam, a Democrat and former senior counsel to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., where he primarily focused on policy and legislation matters related to the CFTC and the Department of Agriculture, has been a CFTC commissioner since September 2017. CFTC commissioners unanimously elected him acting chairman, effective immediately.
"The work of the CFTC is critical to supporting the stability and growth of the American economy through strong oversight and regulation of derivatives markets," Mr. Benham said Thursday in a news release. "As a commissioner, I have focused on ensuring our rules prioritize customer protections, examining potential systemic market risk, and gaining a better understanding of what regulators can do to address climate-related financial market risk."
Each of the CFTC's five commissioners are appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve staggered five-year terms. No more than three commissioners at any one time can be from the same political party. The president — with Senate consent — also designates one of the commissioners to serve as chairman. President Biden has yet to nominate someone to chair the CFTC.