The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Valerie A. Szczepanik has been named Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation for Division Director Bill Hinman. In this newly created advisory position, Ms. Szczepanik will coordinate efforts across all SEC Divisions and Offices regarding the application of U.S. securities laws to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies.
“Valerie’s thought leadership in this area is recognized both within the Commission and across financial regulators in the United States and abroad,” said Chairman Jay Clayton. “With her demonstrated skill, experience, and keen awareness of the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring investor protection, Val is the right person to coordinate our efforts in this dynamic area that has both promise and risk.”
“Valerie recognized early on the securities law implications of developments like blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, and of cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings, tokenized securities, and other digital instruments,” said Mr. Hinman. “She is a recognized leader in responding to developments in our markets. I am excited to have her join me and the Division’s staff as the SEC continues to collaborate with retail investors, issuers and other market participants, in this important and rapidly evolving area.”
Ms. Szczepanik added, “I am excited to take on this new role in support of the SEC’s efforts to address digital assets and innovation as it carries out its mission to facilitate capital formation, promote fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and protect investors, particularly Main Street investors. I look forward to working closely with staff across the agency, our regulatory partners, and the public as we provide a coordinated and strategic response to developments.”
Ms. Szczepanik joined the SEC in 1997 and most recently served as an Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit. She is the Head of the SEC’s Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group, Co-Head of its Dark Web Working Group, and a member of its FinTech Working Group. Ms. Szczepanik received her J.D. from Georgetown Law and her B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.