Mark Uyeda (B’92) Brings Years of Experience and Connections as New SEC Commissioner
Mark Uyeda (B’92) was recently sworn into office as commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), becoming the first Asian Pacific American to occupy this position. Uyeda assumes the role as commissioner after 15 years of experience at the SEC, where he is charged with furthering the mission of the SEC to positively impact America’s economy, capital markets, and secure people’s financial futures.
“I have been fortunate to have a number of roles at the SEC, and all those different experiences really helped add to my overall knowledge of how securities and regulations work,” Uyeda said. “Being able to have all these different experiences allows me to have a much better perspective of the agency, capital markets, and financial regulation.”
During his time at the SEC, Uyeda had the opportunity to work on Commissioner Michael Piwowar’s (MBA’94) executive staff as a senior advisor. As a fellow Hoya, Piwowar remained a consistent friend and mentor to Uyeda throughout his time at the SEC – a relationship that continues to this day. Early on, Piwowar saw the expertise Uyeda had on both corporate finance and investment management matters and Piwowar eventually was among a group of former commissioners asked by Senator Toomey to sign a letter of recommendation in support of Uyeda’s nomination for SEC Commissioner.
“I signed a letter with multiple SEC commissioners that Senator Toomey brought up during Mark’s nomination hearing saying how exceptionally well-qualified Mark is to be commissioner,” Piwowar said. “I thought, this is the next logical step in his career given everything that he has done. I couldn’t have been happier for him.”
Uyeda’s preparation for this role began long before his time with the SEC. During his time as an undergraduate business major at Georgetown McDonough, he took advantage of everything the university had to offer him during his four years on the Hilltop.
During his time as a student, Uyeda sought out experiences and internships to prepare him for life after graduation. He made connections that have lasted long past his time on the Hilltop, which eventually opened doors to his future career at the SEC.
“Georgetown is perhaps one of the best suited places to study, especially as an undergraduate student,” Uyeda said. “As a student, you’re at this intersection of law, public policy, and business, specifically with respect to McDonough.”
“When I was an undergraduate student, I was able to intern on the Hill during the school year working for Congressman Christopher Cox, who was from California,” Uyeda said. “It worked out very well, and I was able to come back both my junior and senior years.”
Congressman Cox eventually became an SEC Chairman in 2005. Chairman Cox connected Uyeda to Commissioner Atkins who brought Uyeda to the SEC in 2006.
“The opportunities and relationships one can develop at Georgetown are what make it unique,” Uyeda said.
The connections Uyeda made during his time as a student have maintained throughout his career. Uyeda emphasized the power of Georgetown connections in his relationship with Commissioner Piwowar.
As a former SEC commissioner and current mentor and friend to Uyeda, Piwowar was thrilled to see Uyeda be nominated and confirmed as commissioner.
“Given his background, he is probably one of the most – if not the most – qualified people to be commissioner of the SEC ever in this history of the agency,” Piwowar said. “His background in both investment management and corporate finance speaks to just how intelligent Mark is. He is able to work on a lot of different issues. No one is more prepared than Mark to step into this role with the Commission.”
In addition to being part of Commissioner Piwowar’s staff, Uyeda worked for Chairman Jay Clayton and Commissioner Paul Atkins. He also worked for the Division of Investment Management and served on detail from the SEC to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Senator Pat Toomey, Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member, introduced Uyeda at his nomination hearing and demonstrated public support for his nomination.
“It’s been really wonderful to work with my SEC colleagues who I’ve been with for the last 15 years,” Uyeda said. “We have a lot of different projects going on, we have a very heavy agenda that’s been set by our current chairman, Gary Gensler.”
Looking ahead, Uyeda has embraced the challenges and opportunities presented by the responsibilities of being commissioner. From consistent regulation and enforcement to newer ideas like crypto currency and digital assets, Uyeda has stepped into his role with a commitment to his work and the agency.
“Chairman Gansler has a lot of ideas, and they impact many different areas of the capital markets. It’s reflective of his vast experience both in the private sector as well as the public sector,” Uyeda said. “One of my challenges is to look at all of these ideas and to do what’s required of me, which is to apply my judgment in deciding how we should proceed on each of these initiatives.”
Uyeda will join Gensler and other notable financial and regulatory experts at the annual Financial Markets Quality Conference on October 14, 2022, hosted by Georgetown’s Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy. To register for the event, please visit finpolicy.georgetown.edu/financial-markets-quality-conference/fmq-2022/