New York’s new governor picks ex-Obama staffer to head NYDFS

The new governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, has nominated former Obama official Adrienne Harris to head up the Department of Financial Services (DFS) in the state, following the recent resignation of her predecessor at the NYDFS, Superintendent Linda Lacewell.

Hochul, who assumed office following the departure of Andrew Cuomo, called on Harris to take over at the department, following her time as a special assistant for economic policy to Barack Obama, and senior adviser to the deputy secretary of the Treasury Department.

Harris, who currently works as a senior advisor at PR firm Brunswick Group, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal saying her aim in the post was “to ensure we have a robust and fair financial system, and an equitable economy.”

Harris has not gone on record with her views on digital currency and blockchain much in the past, but was present at a forum to discuss government support for the emerging fintech sector during her time working with the Obama administration.

The turn of events follows the dramatic resignation of former governor Andrew Cuomo following multiple allegations of sexual assault. Cuomo’s nominee for the role, Superintendent Lacewell, who also resigned with the change of governor, had full authority to issue BitLicense in the state. She is credited with simplifying the process of licensing in the state “to reduce burdens on industry while protecting consumers.”

Any appointment to the head of the NYDFS requires approval from the State Senate before they can assume office. With the new governor having now made the nomination, it is expected that Harris will be given the all-clear to assume post in the coming days.

Those operating licensed activities in New York will be keeping a careful eye, with a view to ascertaining how the incoming head of the DFS intends to approach digital currency and blockchain regulation.

Watch: SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce discusses “Blockchain Policy Matters” with Bitcoin Association’s Jimmy Nguyen

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