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NY Gov. Hochul Taps Obama Vet Harris as Top Financial Watchdog

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has tapped Adrienne Harris, a veteran of former President Barack Obama’s White House, to take the reins of the state’s top financial watchdog, according to a press release on Tuesday (Aug. 31).

Hochul said she is adhering to her pledge to bring together a formidable roster that can help steer the state toward a brighter future. Harris’ nomination is still pending approval from the New York State Senate.

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“… with Adrienne Harris as our state’s top financial regulator, New Yorkers can rest assured that this administration isn’t simply focused on just protecting consumers, but on advancing an equitable economic recovery that seeks to lift up all citizens, not just the privileged few,” Hochul said. 

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The new governor pointed to the nominee’s many accomplishments, including Harris’ work with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she was instrumental in helping move the country forward after the Great Recession in 2007. Harris also was influential in the private sector and assisted companies of all sizes “act as good corporate citizens,” Hochul said.  

Harris also served the Obama White House as special assistant to the President for Economic Policy, a division of the National Economic Council. She was tasked with managing the financial services portfolio, including financial reform and the implementation of Dodd-Frank, according to the release.

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The New York State Department of Financial Services oversees insurance companies and state-chartered banks, and ensures compliance with state regulations as it moves ahead following the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency’s focus is targeting consumer protection and “an equitable recovery” from the pandemic.

Harris currently is a senior adviser at the public relations firm Brunswick Group in Washington, D.C. and directs work having to do with financial institutions, FinTech companies and venture capital firms, per the release.

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