Jessica Wachter has been appointed the Securities and Exchange Commission's chief economist and director of the division of economic and risk analysis, or DERA, the agency said Monday.
Ms. Wachter joins the SEC from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School where she has been a professor since 2003.
"I am honored to be joining the SEC and the dedicated experts within DERA," Ms. Wachter said in a news release. "Sound economic and statistical analysis is critical to the SEC's mission, and I greatly look forward to working with the team to inform decision-making at the agency."
The SEC said Ms. Wachter is one of the leading academic researchers on financial markets and noted that she is also a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research.
"For centuries, capital markets have evolved by adapting to technological innovation and the emergence of new data sources," SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in the news release. "It is essential that we apply rigorous economic analysis to ensure that our policymaking, enforcement decisions, and examinations are informed by the data we have available to us. Jessica Wachter is an exceptional economist who has completed wide-ranging research on issues critical to the SEC's mission. The Commission and the capital markets will benefit from her extensive experience and stellar track record in the field of financial economics."
The SEC's previous chief economist and director of DERA, S.P. Kothar, stepped down in January.