Release Number 8357-21

Charlie Thornton to Depart CFTC

January 28, 2021

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that N. Charles “Charlie” Thornton III will leave the agency for a new opportunity in the private sector. Since 2017, Mr. Thornton has served in multiple leadership roles at the CFTC under two Chairmen, most recently as Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer under Chairman Tarbert. Previously, he served as Counselor to Chairman Tarbert, developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining the CFTC’s strategic initiatives.

From 2017 to 2019, Mr. Thornton served as Director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs (OLIA) under Chairman Giancarlo, where he was the agency’s lead liaison with Members of Congress and key executive branch agencies, and the Chairman’s top advisor on all legislative matters. OLIA’s efforts were integral in achieving an increase in the CFTC’s budget after many years of flat or reduced funding. Mr. Thornton has also served as the Designated Federal Officer for the Agriculture Advisory Committee.

“Charlie has always had his finger on the pulse of Congress, industry, and the agency, making him an invaluable member of my team during my chairmanship,” said Commissioner Tarbert. “He can work with anyone on anything and get the job done.”

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside my wonderful colleagues at the CFTC,” said Mr. Thornton. “I am forever grateful to Chairman Giancarlo for giving me the opportunity to join the agency and to Chairman Tarbert for allowing me to continue my service. I want to thank all of the Commissioners and staff who have made my experience exceptionally rewarding and I especially wish Acting Chairman Behnam a very successful tenure.”

Before joining the CFTC, Mr. Thornton served as Senior Professional Staff and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee under Chairman Pat Roberts, where he was responsible for Committee business regarding derivatives markets and oversight of the CFTC. Mr. Thornton holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and earned his juris doctor degree from Mississippi College School of Law.