After Delay, SEC Gets Closer to Picking Director of Minority and Women Inclusion

The Securities and Exchange Commission is finally catching up on its minority and women contracting responsibilities.

On April 30, 2011, SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar said in a speech, correctly, that “Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires that the SEC undertake significant efforts to recruit and promote employees from all backgrounds. In particular, Section 342 requires that the SEC, and all other financial regulators, establish a new Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.”

But the SEC hadn’t done anything about it – despite a deadline in the Act of six months after it was signed into law, which was January 21, 2011.

Aguilar also noted in that speech that other agencies such as the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department had already established those offices and had the director and staff in place and that he looked forward to the SEC “establishing its office and quickly catching up” to its counterpart financial regulatory agencies.

Why did the SEC, one of the most important financial regulatory agencies, need to catch up? Because Congress didn’t appropriate enough money. The minority and women inclusion office was a casualty of a budget shortfall, along with other activities such as some important investigations and some Amtrak travel to New York for SEC attorneys. The New York Times did a good article on this in May.

Now, there is apparently enough money, and the SEC is trying to set up the office. In fact, on August 16, it just announced the formal job vacancy for the director’s slot.

The agency wants someone with “demonstrated experience and measured success in the planning, developing, management and implementation of effective diversity programs.”

This includes “expert knowledge of diversity in management, employment, and business activities; and experience with contracts and procurement, minority outreach and hiring programs, and providing technical assistance to women-owned or minority-owned business.”

Let’s hope they find the right person for the job – quickly. It pays up to $226,000, so they should get some fairly qualified applicants. The announcement closes on August 26.

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