Christopher Cox

Former Chairman of the SEC, Former Member of House of Representative, Advisor to Global Businesses
Christopher Cox
  • Accomplished lawmaker who served in Congress for 17 years
  • At the SEC, became a champion of justice and transparency in the world of investing
  • Breaks down the factors altering the current regulatory environment, financial markets, and the global success of American businesses

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“Bipartisanship in Congress is dead. But unceasing indulgence of competitive passions in the zero-sum game of electoral politics, where one party’s loss is the other’s gain, is a luxury our nation can’t afford once elections are decided. When the ballots are counted, governing should begin. Nowhere is this more important than in the congressional committees that oversee the nation’s intelligence community and our national defense.”

Drawing on a deep background of exceptional experience, Chris Cox shares his strategic insights at the board and executive levels with some of the world’s largest global companies. His career highlights include service as a White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan, seventeen years in Congress where he was the fifth-ranking leader of the US House of Representatives, and four years as Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). His government experience complements his deep knowledge of the private sector, gained during more than two decades as a practicing lawyer. In addition, he taught federal income tax as a member of the faculty at Harvard Business School and founded a company that, during the Cold War, translated the Soviet Union’s daily newspaper, Pravda, into English for customers in 26 nations around the world.

As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in Congress after 9/11, Chris Cox was present at the founding of the third-largest cabinet department in the federal government. His legislative interests and achievements spanned domestic and foreign policy; among the notable laws he authored are the Support for Eastern European Democracy (SEED) Act, facilitating venture capital investment in the former captive nations of the Soviet Union; the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which bans taxes on email and internet access, and protects internet users from multiple and discriminatory taxation;  and landmark legislation allocating liability for user-generated content on the Internet. 

Chris Cox is also responsible for seminal legislation limiting liability for user-generated content on the internet, which the Washington Post credits with creating “a trillion or so dollars of value.” According to the Post, without this law no internet business displaying user-generated content, including such enterprises as “Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, Craigslist, YouTube, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, [and] thousands more like them, would exist.”  Cox’s law is the subject of a newly-released book by cybersecurity professor Jeff Kosseff of the US Naval Academy, titled The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet, published by Cornell University Press.

Cox’s leadership positions in Congress included chairmanships on committees overseeing everything from budget process reform to homeland security to financial services. During his tenure as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, he continued this fight for justice and transparency in the world of investing.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities Speakers bureau, Chris Cox speaks about the complex regulatory environment and its long-term impact on business. He addresses the current economic climate from the point of view of someone who understands the need for free markets, fiscal responsibility, and a robust US business community.

An Accomplished Lawmaker and Reformer. Currently, Cox serves on the boards of privately held companies in the health care, real estate, regulatory, compliance, and technology industries. In 2020, he retired as partner at the international law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and as President of the firm’s global consulting business, Morgan Lewis Consulting LLC.  During his seventeen years in Congress, he served in the majority leadership of the US House of Representatives. He authored the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, which protects investors from fraudulent lawsuits, and his legislation to eliminate estate taxes and the double tax on shareholder dividends led to significant reductions in both.  He served in a leadership capacity as a senior member of every committee with jurisdiction over investor protection and US capital markets, including the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Financial Services Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Budget Committee.

An Advocate for Investors. At the SEC, Cox approved the creation of the NASDAQ as an exchange and the merger of the NYSE with Euronext, opening the way for cross-border securities trading and regulation.  His top priority was securities law enforcement, and during his tenure the agency won record-breaking penalties, including the first billion-dollar settlements. Under his leadership the SEC brought a variety of groundbreaking cases against market abuses including hedge fund insider-trading, stock options backdating, and municipal securities fraud. He also targeted internet investing scams and fraud aimed at senior citizens. During the global financial crisis, he led the agency’s collaboration with European and Asian regulators to ensure markets stayed open and fully functioning, despite historic stress levels. As SEC chairman, he also modernized the agency’s technology to provide investors and analysts with real-time information. His reforms included transforming the SEC’s disclosure system from a static, form-based approach to one that taps the power of interactive data to give investors qualitatively better information.

More About Christopher Cox. In 1994, Cox was appointed by President Clinton to the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, which published its unanimous report in 1995 concluding that the current path of entitlement spending is unsustainable. From 1986 until 1988, he served in as senior associate counsel to President Reagan. From 1978 to 1986, he specialized in venture capital and corporate finance as an associate and then partner with Latham & Watkins. Cox received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from Harvard Law School, where he was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

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Christopher Cox: "Beyond the Crisis: New Regulations Reshaping Your Business"

The American Economy: Front and Center on the Global Stage. In his time at the SEC, Christopher Cox worked to ensure that the international regulatory atmosphere was conducive to the free market economy that keeps America and the world moving forward. With the global economy in uncharted waters, Cox explains the signs coming from the markets and decodes the signals coming out of Washington. With experience both as a long-standing leader in Congress and as the chair of the SEC, he understands the complex push and pull that determines the nature of the regulatory environment, the financial markets, and the success of American business around the world.

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