Release Number 7959-19

July 9, 2019


Erica Elliott Richardson, External Affairs Director, To Leave CFTC


Washington, DC — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that Erica Elliott Richardson, Director of the CFTC’s Office of External Affairs (OEA), will leave the agency later this summer.


"Erica is a brilliant strategist and tremendous leader," said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. "Over the course of the last two years, the CFTC's brand recognition has increased globally, and that is in no small part a result of her hard work and thoughtful strategy. She’s been an essential member of the agency’s senior executive team, and her efforts have been instrumental in helping the CFTC achieve its mission to be as effective as possible in regulating the global derivatives markets.”


"I can't thank Chairman Giancarlo enough for the incredible opportunity to serve this agency and the American people," said Richardson. "Under his leadership, and together with the agency's Commissioners and my fellow Division and Office Directors, the CFTC has tenaciously pursued its mission to foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets. I am honored to have been part of this team."


Richardson came to the agency in 2017 to head the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), the CFTC’s office that is responsible for strategic communications and brand management of the agency.  During her tenure, Richardson initiated and implemented the reorganization of OPA and the Office of Customer Education and Outreach (OCEO) into the new Office of External Affairs. Working with the Office of Management and Budget, representatives from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and stakeholders within the CFTC, the new office saved taxpayers millions of dollars.


In addition to her role as the agency spokesperson, Richardson developed and executed external communications strategies in support of the agency, Commission business, and the agency leadership team. She established and promoted stakeholder partnerships for the agency, as well as crafted and executed an executive visibility and thought leadership agenda for the Commission, Chairman, and the Division leadership teams.


She was involved in the strategic planning for all external-facing Commission issues including:


Previously, in the private sector, Richardson advised domestic and international clients on global public policy and communications in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and emerging markets. She is particularly experienced at communications, policy development, legislative relations, building strategic partnerships, and developing and implementing strategic plans.


Richardson's government service includes almost a decade working for the U.S. Congress. In her capacity as Communications Director for Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Richardson helped establish operations for the Republican leadership upon their election to the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010. Throughout the 112th and 113th Congresses, she advised House leadership on communications strategy pertaining to all issues under consideration for passage in the House and Senate.


Richardson is a supporter of the visual and performing arts, and is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, the fifth oldest of the 110 Livery Companies in the City of London. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in political communications from Auburn University, and a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the potential legislative and regulatory frameworks for virtual currency in the U.S., titled, “Digital Dollars: How a Civil War-Era Law Might Predict the Future of Virtual Currency Policy.”