Harris Confirmed as New York Financial Services Chief

January 26, 2022

The New York State Senate has voted to confirm Adrienne A. Harris as superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS).

Harris, a former economic advisor to President Barack Obama, was nominated by Governor Kathy Hochul in August for the job as New York’s top financial regulator overseeing the banking and insurance industries.

Harris replaces Linda Lacewell, who stepped down in August in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. Lacewell had headed the DFS since 2019.

Harris began her career as an associate at Sullivan and Cromwell LLP in New York City representing a corporations in various forms of litigation and regulatory matters, before accepting a position at the U.S. Department of the Treasury under President Obama as a senior advisor on financial policy.

Following her time at the Treasury Department, Harris then joined the White House, where she was appointed as special assistant to the President for Economic Policy, as part of the National Economic Council. In this role, Harris managed the financial services portfolio, which included developing strategies for financial reform and the implementation of Dodd-Frank, while continuing to advance fintech initiatives, consumer protections, cybersecurity and housing finance reform priorities.

Since leaving the White House in January 2017, Harris has served serve as general counsel and chief business officer, and presently as advisor at States Title, Inc. (now DOMA), which provides title insurance and settlement services. She also currently serves as a professor of finance, law and policy at the University of Michigan, as well as a senior advisor at the Brunswick Group in Washington D.C. where she advises multinational corporations on mergers and acquisitions, stakeholder communications and management, future-proofing and policy intelligence.

“As the first African American woman to lead DFS, I am personally committed to working with all stakeholders to build a robust, fair and sustainable financial system, creating a better economic future for all New Yorkers,” Harris said in a statement following her confirmation,.

Her confirmation was welcomed by the state’s insurance agents.

“Adrienne Harris’s impressive experience as a public servant, educator, and leader in the financial services sector, combined with her thoughtful regulatory philosophy make her exceptionally well qualified to serve as the one of the most important financial regulators in the nation,” commented Lisa Lounsbury, Big I NY’s president and CEO.

Topics New York

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