Former Obama Adviser Nominated to Run NYDFS

If confirmed by the New York State Senate, Adrienne Harris will take over for Linda Lacewell, who resigned earlier this month.

AccessTimeIconAug 31, 2021 at 6:08 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:31 p.m. UTC

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has nominated Adrienne Harris, a former economic adviser to then-President Barack Obama, to lead the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) as its next superintendent.

NYDFS regulates financial services and products as well as insurance companies. The state regulator has also played a significant role in shaping the crypto economy in New York, creating the BitLicense in 2015 and providing regulatory guidance for coin listings and other crypto-related business operations.

Harris currently sits on the board of directors of the Digital Dollar Project, a group founded by former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Chris Giancarlo, former CFTC fintech lead Daniel Gorfine and Accenture director David Treat to advocate for a central bank digital currency.

Harris works as an adviser to financial institutions and fintech companies with Washington, D.C.-based PR firm Brunswick Group, and is a professor at the University of Michigan. She was previously a senior advisor in the Treasury Department and a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy until January 2017.

If Harris’ nomination is confirmed by the New York State Senate, she will take over the position as the state’s top financial regulator from Linda Lacewell.

Lacewell retired earlier this month after being accused of helping disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo cover up COVID-19 related nursing home deaths.

As the crypto economy continues to grow, the agency is seemingly trying to expand its digital asset expertise. According to a job posting, the NYDFS is looking for a Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency.


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Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

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