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Harvey Pitt

Harvey Pitt was the 26th chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), serving from 2001-2003. He led the SEC in restoring the U.S. securities markets to full operations after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, instituted a policy of "real time enforcement" to make the SEC's enforcement efforts more effective, and led the SEC in the adoption of dozens of rules to implement the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Pitt's tenure was marked by controversy. After successfully restoring the markets to full operation after the terrorist attacks of September 11, for which he was widely praised, Pitt became the target of criticism when the Enron scandal broke out on his watch. The actual problems of Enron and other corporations occurred during the tenure of Pitt's predecessor, Arthur Levitt, but Pitt was in office when the results of some of those failed policies bubbled to the surface. Pitt came under criticism from Democrats for being allegedly too close to the accounting industry and subverting efforts to tighten regulation in the wake of the Enron scandal and other cases of corporate malfeasance.

He worked to reconcile the demands of accountants, financial services firms, public companies, institutional shareholders, legislators and stockholders with such legislation as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Prior to that he was a partner of a global Washington, DC law firm and was widely considered one of the preeminent experts in his field. He coined the phrase 'corporate Darwinism'.

Pitt graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1961,[1] Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree in 1965, and from St. John's University School of Law with a JD degree in 1968. From 1968 to 1978, he served on the staff of the SEC, eventually becoming the agency's youngest-ever General Counsel in 1975, aged 30.

Pitt received an honorary LL.D. degree from St. John's University School of Law in 2002, and received the President's Medal of Distinction from the President of Brooklyn College in 2003.

He is the father of four, a columnist with Compliance Week, and a speaker and regular commentator in webcasts and television interviews on financial matters.


  • He was a founder and first president of the SEC Historical Society [2]
  • He is now the Chief Executive Officer of the global strategic consulting firm, Kalorama Partners, LLC.


External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Arthur Levitt
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair
2001 – 2003
Succeeded by
William H. Donaldson


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