Rhea Dignam Named as Senior Counsel To OCIE Director


Washington D.C., Sept. 23, 2014 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Rhea Kemble Dignam has been named as senior counsel to the director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE). 

Ms. Dignam will begin her new position when her successor as the regional director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office begins in that position later this fall.  Ms. Dignam joined the SEC as the Atlanta Regional Office director in March 2010. 

“Rhea is a proven and valued member of the Commission and the National Exam Program,” said Andrew J. Bowden, OCIE director.   “I am delighted that she has agreed to serve as senior counsel.” 

Ms. Dignam will focus on communicating examination findings to key stakeholders inside and outside the SEC in furtherance of OCIE’s mission to promote compliance, prevent fraud, inform policy, and identify risks.

Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, added, “As ARO regional director, Rhea has been a significant contributor to the SEC’s enforcement program. Under her leadership, the ARO has brought many cases of national significance.”    

Ms. Dignam said, “It has been a privilege to work with the talented staff of the ARO, whose commitment to the mission of the SEC is unflagging.  Their accomplishments in investigations, litigations, examinations, and in defending the interests of investors in bankruptcy proceedings, as well as in conducting outreach about the mission of the SEC to a variety of audiences during the past four plus years have been outstanding.  I thank the front line staff as well as the dedicated members of ARO’s support staff.  I also look forward to joining the National Exam Program at the national level and helping it communicate what it learns as the eyes and ears of the Commission.”

Key enforcement actions brought during Ms. Dignam’s tenure include:

During Ms. Dignam’s tenure, the examination staff in the ARO increased and targeted its registrant coverage through increasing utilization of a risk-based approach.  The ARO’s exam program has also been very active in sponsoring and participating in events focused on compliance outreach, as well as industry in-reach.  Broadening and deepening its relationship with other federal and state regulators and FINRA has been another priority of ARO’s exam program.

Prior to joining the SEC in 2010, Ms. Dignam was a principal with Ernst & Young LLP, a vice president and deputy general counsel at New York Life Insurance Company, executive deputy comptroller of New York City, chief assistant district attorney in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, and served in several roles in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, including as the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, chief of the Public Corruption Unit, chief of the Narcotics Unit and a member of the Securities and Commodities Frauds Unit.  Ms. Dignam began her legal career as an associate at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell.  She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College (Phi Beta Kappa) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.