The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that Joan McKown, the chief counsel of its division of enforcement, has resigned.
McKown, who worked for the SEC for 24 years, will become a partner at Jones Day, a Washington-based law firm.
During her career at the SEC, she helped establish various enforcement policies and played a role in reviewing proposed enforcement actions before they were recommended to the Commission for approval.
McKown joined the SEC in 1986 as a staff attorney in the office of the general counsel. She moved to the enforcement division in 1987 and served in multiple positions, including branch chief and assistant director, before being named chief counsel in 1993.
As chief counsel, she counseled SEC Commissioners about enforcement policies and practices, spearheaded the implementation of enforcement-related portions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and was involved in settlement negotiations of hundreds of SEC enforcement cases.
In 2004, McKown received the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award, which is the highest honor the agency bestows on an individual. In 1994, she received the SEC’s Stanley Sporkin Award, which recognizes SEC staff who have made exceptionally tenacious and insightful contributions to the enforcement of the federal securities laws.
Before joining the SEC, McKown was an attorney at the U.S. Small Business Administration from 1983 to 1986.