Chester Spatt, the Mellon Bank professor of finance and director of the Center for Financial Markets at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named chief economist and director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Economic Analysis, the Commission said Wednesday.

Spatt replaces Lawrence E. Harris, who decided to return to teaching and researching at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

"I am delighted to have this opportunity to join Chairman [William] Donaldson and his outstanding staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission to work on the important issues facing America’s financial markets," said Spatt, who has his doctorate in economics.

Donaldson, calling this a crucial time for the markets, said of Spatt, "I look forward to his insight and analysis into the important issues we are facing."

Some of Spatt’s areas of specific expertise include market structure, pricing and valuation, and the impact of information on the marketplace.

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