Mary L. Schapiro served as the 29th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She was appointed by President Barack Obama, and assumed the Chairmanship on January 27, 2009. She is the first woman to be the permanent Chairman of the SEC. In 2009, Forbes ranked her the 56th most powerful woman in the world.
Schapiro served in various roles as a financial services regulator in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. From 2006 to early 2009, she was the Chairman and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the securities industry's self-regulatory organization for broker-dealers and exchanges in the United States.