Exclusive - Democrats consider Caroline Crenshaw, Urska Velikonja to fill commissioner seat at U.S. SEC: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats are considering an attorney and a law professor to replace Democratic Commissioner Robert Jackson when he steps down from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expected in coming months, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Caroline Crenshaw, who is currently an SEC attorney working in Jackson’s office, and Urska Velikonja, a securities law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, are among two candidates under consideration, the people said.

Jackson, an independent who was picked by Democrats to fill an open Democratic seat in January 2018, is expected to leave the agency later this year after his term expired in June. Commissioners can continue to serve for 18 months after their term expires and before their replacement is confirmed by the Senate.

Crenshaw has worked at the SEC since 2013, according to her LinkedIn profile. She previously worked under another Democratic commissioner, Kara Stein, who left in January.

Velikonja, a Slovenian native, has closely tracked the SEC’s work as an academic, particularly on enforcement matters, according to her Georgetown University biography.

It was not immediately clear how many other candidates were under consideration, if any.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s leading Democrat, typically recommends nominees for Democratic posts, while it falls to President Donald Trump to make the formal nomination.

A spokesman for Schumer’s office declined to discuss who is being considered for SEC commissioner, but people familiar with the matter say the Democrats are still considering a number of candidates.

A representative for Crenshaw declined to comment, while Velikonja did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. A spokeswoman for the SEC declined to comment.

The agency is led by a bipartisan commission that includes a chair, two Democrats and two Republicans.

SEC Commissioners must be confirmed by the Senate, a process that can take months.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson in Washington; Writing by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Susan Thomas and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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