Release Number 8828-23

CFTC Chairman Announces Melanie Devoe Director of the Office of Customer Education and Outreach

November 30, 2023

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam announced today that Melanie T. Devoe has been named Director of the Office of Customer Education and Outreach (OCEO). Ms. Devoe will lead the CFTC’s education and outreach efforts aimed at arming customers with the tools they need to avoid fraud and other potential abuse when participating in CFTC-regulated and cash commodity markets.

“With growing retail participation in emerging markets offering products targeted for smaller investors and ongoing interest in crypto assets, it is critical that our education and outreach efforts to prevent fraud reach customers where they are. Markets are now just a few swipes and phone taps away for most individuals. Such easy access means that CFTC must be nimble, creative, and aggressive in our efforts to ensure that before customers hit “accept,” they have evaluated the risks and understand what they are buying into,” said Chairman Behnam. “I am especially pleased to welcome Ms. Devoe and her extensive experience in our Division of Enforcement to this critical position.”

“I am honored Chairman Behnam selected me to serve as the OCEO Director. I have spent the last 15 years with a front row seat to the methods and impacts of financial fraud on retail victims,” said Ms. Devoe. “As OCEO Director, I am committed to bolstering and enhancing OCEO’s efforts to provide customers with meaningful and clear resources to allow them to assess potential investments and avoid falling victim to stories that are too good to be true.”

Ms. Devoe has extensive investigative and litigation experience, and she is a subject matter expert on the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations. Ms. Devoe previously served in the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office (WBO) where she was, among other things, the WBO’s subject matter liaison to the Division of Enforcement (DOE). In this role, she analyzed incoming whistleblower tips and collaborated with DOE’s trial teams and various DOE Task Forces. She helped develop Whistleblower Alerts, such as the recently published alert related to the carbon markets. She has represented the WBO on conference panels about the CFTC’s whistleblower program and the CFTC’s jurisdiction and enforcement priorities. In addition to her internal and external outreach work, she also analyzed several complex whistleblower award determinations. 

Prior to joining the WBO, Ms. Devoe served as a senior trial attorney in DOE where she investigated companies engaged in market manipulation and forex fraud. In this role, she interviewed traders, spoke to victims of fraud, drafted complaints, and worked with other regulators. She held a similar investigative position at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Division of Investigations. She was also a senior associate at an international law firm advising clients on energy matters. 

In addition to her work at the CFTC, Ms. Devoe has served at other federal agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in the Office of Chief Counsel. While at ATF, she worked closely with the DOJ as agency counsel to defend ATF against lawsuits and provide programmatic legal advice. During her time at the CFTC, Ms. Devoe also obtained considerable trial experience while serving a six-month detail to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Ms. Devoe received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from McGill University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law.

About the Office of Customer Education and Outreach (OCEO)

OCEO is dedicated to helping customers protect themselves from fraud or violations of the Commodity Exchange Act through the research and development of effective financial education materials and initiatives. OCEO engages in outreach and education to retail investors, traders, industry organizations, and the agricultural community. The office also frequently partners with federal and state regulators as well as consumer protection groups. The CFTC’s full repository of customer education materials can be found at Learn & Protect.