From November 2011 to October 2015, Mr. Gallagher served as a Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During his tenure, he focused on initiatives aimed at strengthening the capital markets and encouraging small business capital formation, including staunchly supporting the changes introduced by the JOBS Act. Mr. Gallagher also advocated for conducting a comprehensive holistic review of equity market structure issues, building the Commission’s fixed income market expertise, addressing the outsized power of proxy advisory firms, and ensuring rational regulation of credit rating agencies. As a Commissioner, he also assailed the creeping federalization of corporate governance matters and the concerted efforts of special interest groups to manipulate the SEC’s disclosure regime to advance their political agendas.
He also was instrumental in highlighting the shortcomings of the Dodd-Frank Act and the encroachment of bank regulatory measures and prudential regulators into the capital markets.
During his Commission tenure, Mr. Gallagher had an active international agenda, regularly speaking at conferences and meeting with international regulators and market participants in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Europe.
Before being appointed Commissioner, Mr. Gallagher had the honor and privilege of serving on the staff of the SEC in several capacities. He first joined the Commission as a summer honors program intern while pursuing his law degree, focusing on enforcement matters. In January 2006, he rejoined the agency, serving first as counsel to SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins, and later as counsel to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, working on matters involving the Division of Enforcement and the Division of Trading and Markets. In 2008, he joined the Division of Trading and Markets as Deputy Director and served as Co-Acting Director of the Division from April 2009 until January 2010. During this period, Mr. Gallagher was on the front lines in the agency’s response to the financial crisis. He represented the Commission in the Lehman Brothers liquidation, and helped lead the agency in addressing other crisis-related issues, including the move to central clearing of swaps and matters involving SIPC. He served as the inaugural Chairman of Committee 6 of the IOSCO Technical Committee, responsible for addressing matters related to the regulation of credit rating agencies, and he was the Commission representative to the Financial Stability Forum (the predecessor of the FSB) Crisis Management working group.
In addition to his distinguished record of public service, Mr. Gallagher spent a number of years in the private sector. Following law school, he joined the Washington, D.C. law firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, where he advised clients on broker-dealer regulatory issues and represented clients in SEC and SRO enforcement proceedings. He later returned to Wilmer (now WilmerHale) as a partner following his years of service on the SEC staff. Mr. Gallagher also served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Fiserv Securities, Inc., where he was responsible for managing all of the firm’s legal and regulatory matters.
Mr. Gallagher received his B.A. in English from Georgetown University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Catholic University of America, where he was a member of the Catholic University Law Review. He is a leading media commentator, lecturer, and author on matters related to capital markets regulation, and he has been recognized by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the 100 most influential individuals in the corporate governance community. Mr. Gallagher also serves as a Non-Executive Director of the Irish Stock Exchange, and is on the Advisory Board of the Drexel LeBow Center for Corporate Governance and a policy fellow at the American Conservative Union.