"I am also pleased to designate Elisse Walter as SEC Chairman after Mary's departure. I'm confident that Elisse's years of experience will serve her well in her new position, and I'm grateful she has agreed to help lead the agency."
Walter's five-year term ended in June, but commissioners are allowed by law to stay on for an additional 18 months. Walter worked at FINRA before being appointed to the SEC in 2008, and observers say her background will help aid her work at the agency's helm.
"She's recognized as a very talented implementer and thinker, and at a time when one's in the process of implementing these Dodd-Frank requirements, she's ideally suited to help the agency fulfill its operational responsibility," said Eugene Ludwig, founder and chief executive of Promontory Financial Group and a former comptroller of the currency.
Walter will likely serve as chairman in the short term, until the White House appoints a permanent successor to Schapiro, according to press reports.