The Washington Times - November 26, 2012, 10:45AM

President Obama said Monday he intends to appoint Securities and Exchange Commissioner Elisse Walter, a Democrat, to replace outgoing SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, who is stepping down next month.

“I’m confident that Elisse’s years of experience will serve her well in her new position, and I’m grateful she has agreed to help lead the agency,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. Mrs. Walter was first appointed to the agency by Republican President George W. Bush in 2008.

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Miss Schapiro, who has headed the Wall Street watchdog agency since 2009, said Monday that her last day will be Dec. 14. She had been expected to leave the SEC after the presidential election.

The president praised Miss Schapiro for her “steadfast leadership” at the SEC.

“When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the SEC and our economy as a whole,” Mr. Obama said. “But she accepted the challenge, and today, the SEC is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people — thanks in large part to Mary’s hard work.”

Before her appointment as an SEC commissioner, Mrs. Walter served as senior executive vice president of regulatory policy and programs for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. She also served as general counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Before joining the CFTC in 1994, Mrs. Walter was deputy director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. She began working on the SEC’s staff in 1977.