Michael S. Piwowar was first appointed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by President Barack Obama and was sworn in on August 15, 2013. Dr. Piwowar was designated Acting Chairman of the Commission by President Donald Trump from January 23, 2017, to May 4, 2017.
Previously, Dr. Piwowar was the Republican chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs under Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Richard Shelby (R-AL). He was the lead Republican economist on the four SEC-related titles of the Dodd-Frank Act and the JOBS Act. Dr. Piwowar also worked on a number of important SEC-related oversight issues under the jurisdiction of the Committee, such as securities, over-the-counter derivatives, investor protection, market structure, and capital formation.
During the financial crisis and its immediate aftermath, Dr. Piwowar served in a one-year fixed-term position at the White House as a senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations. While at the CEA, Dr. Piwowar also served as a staff economist for the Financial Regulatory Reform Working Group of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
Before joining the White House, Dr. Piwowar worked as a Principal at the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group (SLCG). At SLCG, he provided economic consulting to law firms involved in complex securities litigation and technical assistance on market structure, regulatory policy, and risk management issues to domestic and international securities regulators and market participants.
Dr. Piwowar’s first tenure at the SEC was in the Office of Economic Analysis (now called the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis) as a visiting academic scholar on leave from Iowa State University and as a senior financial economist. In those roles, he provided economic analyses and other technical support to the Commission and other SEC Divisions and Offices on a wide range of rulemaking, compliance, and enforcement matters.
Dr. Piwowar was an assistant professor of finance at Iowa State University where he focused his research on market microstructure and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in corporate finance and investments. He published a number of articles in leading academic publications and received several teaching and research awards.
Dr. Piwowar received a B.A. in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.B.A. from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University.
About the Robert Stafford Lecture Series on Banking
The Robert Stafford Lecture Series on Banking was established by the College of Business and funded by Ames National Corporation, Ames, Iowa as a part of its 100 years of service to Ames. The lecture honors the late Robert Stafford for his many years of dedicated service to First National Bank and Ames National Corporation.
PAST STAFFORD LECTURERS
About Robert Stafford (1923-2009)
Robert Stafford was born in Ames and graduated from Ames High in 1942. He began his college education at Iowa State College and has spent his entire professional career in Ames. His degree in business administration is from Northwestern University, because, at the time, Iowa State did not have a business college.
Stafford’s college tenure was interrupted by World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and flew more than 30 missions over Germany as a B-17 co-pilot, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters. After the war, he worked in the insurance business in Des Moines, but he continued his military connection with the Iowa Air National Guard and saw additional duty as a finance officer and pilot during the Korean conflict. He continued his service with the National Guard into the 1960s, retiring with the rank of colonel.
In 1954 he joined the First National Bank in Ames, where he had worked as a high school student. He became president in 1968 and was later named chairman of the board. He was also president and chairman of Ames National Corporation, the bank holding company that currently has five banking affiliates in central Iowa. He retired in 2003.
Stafford was an active community leader and volunteer in Ames for more than 50 years. He was a lifetime ISU Foundation Governor, serving as treasurer and as chair of the investment and finance committees, as well as numerous other advisory boards on campus.
For his years of loyal service to Iowa State, Stafford was awarded the Honorary Alumni Award in 2007. This is the highest honor given by the university to individuals who are not graduates of Iowa State.
Stafford died in 2009. His widow Virginia, to whom he was married for nearly 61 years, lives in Ames. Their four children are Maren Stafford Smith (’79 distributed studies), Marcia Stafford Jorgenson, Craig, and Brian.