The Senate confirmed Rostin Behnam as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday, the same day President Joe Biden announced plans to nominate Summer Mersinger and Caroline D. Pham as CFTC commissioners.
Mr. Behnam, a Democrat who has been acting chairman at the agency since January, was confirmed via voice vote. A former aide to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Mr. Benham has served on the CFTC since 2017.
He is currently one of two people serving on the five-member CFTC, but the other, Dawn DeBerry Stump, a Republican, announced on Dec. 9 that she would not seek another five-year term after her current term expires in April. However, she plans stay on until a replacement is confirmed, she said.
If the candidates Mr. Biden plans to nominate are confirmed, they will fill the two Republican seats on the board, including the one Ms. Stump currently holds.
Ms. Mersinger has spent the last two years working at the CFTC as Ms. Stump's chief of staff and as the director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs. Ms. Mersinger previously worked on Capitol Hill for 15 years in the House and the Senate for her home state congressman and then senator, John Thune, R-S.D.
Ms. Pham is a managing director at Citi where she has held various senior roles, including a global head of compliance and deputy head of global regulatory affairs. She is currently head of market structure for strategic initiatives in Citi's institutional clients group and represents Citi on the executive committee of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. She previously served as special counsel and policy adviser to former Republican CFTC Commissioner Scott O'Malia.
Since Ms. Mersinger and Ms. Pham have yet to be officially nominated, it's unclear whose seats each will fill and how long each term will be.
The CFTC has lost three members in 2021: Dan M. Berkovitz, a Democrat, departed in October; Brian D. Quintenz, a Republican, stepped down in August; and former chairman, Heath P. Tarbert, a Republican, left in January.
Mr. Biden in September nominated Kristin Johnson, a professor at the Emory University School of Law, and Christy Goldsmith Romero, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to fill the two Democratic board seats.