Robert J. Jackson Jr. is the Pierrepont Family Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance, and Director of the Program on Corporate Law and Policy at the New York University School of Law. Among other premier publications, his work has been featured in the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Law and Economics, and the Harvard Law Review.
He was nominated and unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2017 and served in that role until February 2020. Commissioner Jackson was an outspoken advocate for protecting investors, consistently calling for more transparency in capital markets and championing evidence-driven policymaking. Jackson challenged Silicon Valley insiders on dual-class stock that enables intergenerational transfers of control of America’s largest public companies and called competition economics the “forgotten fourth pillar” of the SEC’s mission. Jackson’s Office helped lead the SEC’s unanimous adoption of a pilot to study effects of stock-exchange payments on market dynamics.
Jackson’s research has consistently produced bipartisan legislation to address the gaps created by application of securities law to modern markets. His paper identifying significant insider trading before the announcement of significant corporate developments led to legislation to outlaw that trading. Another study identifying how SEC systems gave high-speed traders an advantage over ordinary investors led to bipartisan demands for a level playing field. And Jackson’s calls for an insider-trading law for the 21st century produced a bipartisan bill to close gaps in existing law.
Prior to his nomination to the Commission, Professor Jackson taught at Columbia Law School, where students honored him with the Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Before that, he served as a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Treasury Department during the financial crisis and as deputy to Kenneth Feinberg, Treasury’s Special Master on Executive Compensation. Earlier in his career, Professor Jackson practiced law at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and was an investment banker at Bear, Stearns. Jackson holds two undergraduate degrees (one in finance, another in philosophy) from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and a law degree from the Harvard Law School. He was born in the Bronx, is a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, and lives in New York with his wife, Bryana.