Sharon Brown-Hruska is a the chief economist of the U.S. State Department and former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Previously, she was vice president in the securities and finance practice at NERA Economic Consulting, a unit of the Oliver Wyman consulting firm. She is a former commissioner (2002-2006) and acting chairman (2004-2005) of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Brown-Hruska resigned from the CFTC with 3 years remaining on her term and was replaced by Jill Sommers. She joined NERA in July 2006. Brown-Hruska currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Nadex.
Brown-Hruska originally joined the CFTC as a staff economist after doing some research for them on a doctoral dissertation turned into a full-time job. She spent five years at the CFTC as a staff economist.
Later as acting chairwoman of the CFTC, Brown-Hruska served as a member of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets with the Secretary of the Treasury, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
She led the CFTC's efforts in evaluating legislation, issues, and economic developments of relevance to the energy markets and has spoken on energy issues to many forums and organizations, including the Energy Bar Association, Edison Electric Institute, and the World Forum on Energy Regulation.
Internationally, Brown-Hruska has participated in high-level international meetings with members of the European Commission, the Committee of European Securities Regulators, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and various other governmental, regulatory, and financial organizations. Her articles in international regulation have appeared in Revue bancaire et financière, International Commodities Review, and Swiss Derivatives Review.
In enforcement adjudication, Brown-Hruska issued separate opinions in cases where the decisions could be detrimental to the conduct of business and in the markets regulated by the CFTC. In Hussain, she argued against a standard that viewed a brokerage firm's efforts to liquidate the margin account of a defaulting customer as a form of unauthorized trading. In Precision, she challenged the assumption that omissions absent deceit should be construed as a breach of a fiduciary that rose to the level of fraud. In other cases, she emphasized the importance of using economic methods to achieve deterrence in determining civil monetary penalties and urged the CFTC to be more open to the use of tools derived from economic analysis.
Serving as chairman of the CFTC's Technology Advisory Committee, the Committee explored intellectual property in trading and settlements technology, the usage of exchange settlement prices in over-the-counter markets, and market data piracy. She also served on the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, and as chairman of its Website Development Committee, which culminated in the launch of www.mymoney.gov, a clearinghouse for financial information.
Prior to her public service, Brown-Hruska was an assistant professor of Finance at George Mason University (1998-2002) and at Tulane University (1995-1998) specializing in derivative and alternative asset markets.
Brown-Hruska holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in economics and a B.A. in Economics and International Studies from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
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