Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Chairman Heath P. Tarbert Announcing His Future Plans

December 10, 2020

It has been a great honor to serve the American people as the 14th Chairman and Chief Executive of the CFTC as well as one of the agency’s five commissioners. Leading the men and women of the CFTC these last 17 months has been an extraordinary privilege but, like all good things, it must come to an end. Today, I am announcing that I intend to resign my position as Chairman early next year.

I am immensely proud of the agency’s accomplishments in our pursuit to be the global standard for sound derivatives regulation. During my tenure, we have held 20 open meetings, more than the previous 7 years combined; we have vigorously protected the integrity of our markets and set numerous enforcement records; we have successfully concluded negotiations with the EU and UK to build stronger relationships with our regulatory counterparts overseas; we have promoted responsible fintech innovation and declared Ether a commodity; we have seen more than 1,000 new products self-certified to trade on our markets; we have taken strides to deliver more value for taxpayers and be an even better place for our employees to work; we have enhanced our agency’s diversity, with more women and people of color serving in senior leadership roles than ever before; and so much more. We have done all of this with the interests of everyday Americans in mind—including our nation’s farmers and ranchers who rely on derivatives to hedge their risk. With the agenda I laid out last year now complete, the Commission can fully turn its focus to the unwritten future.

A majority of our work has taken place in the midst of COVID-19—a global pandemic that is testing the strength of our markets and our ability to adapt. Amid historic volatility, the CFTC has provided a steady hand and watchful eye while our markets act as shock absorbers. There is no doubt in my mind this has been the CFTC’s “finest hour” during our celebrated 45-year history.   

Of course, none of these achievements would have been possible without the hard work of the CFTC’s dedicated career public servants, our Executive Leadership Team, and my personal staff within the Office of the Chairman.  I also owe a deep debt of gratitude to my fellow Commissioners, who I am proud to call not just colleagues, but also friends. Together we have advanced 40 final rules and 21 proposals—nearly 90 percent of them on a bipartisan basis. The partisan divisions in Washington may run deep, but the Commission’s historically collegial atmosphere has continued uninterrupted. 

I am truly grateful to our President and his Administration for their confidence and the opportunity to serve.  I am also humbled by the broad, bipartisan support of my leadership and agenda across both houses of Congress during my tenure. Finally, I am most deeply appreciative for my wife and two young boys, who have supported me—and my long hours—every step of the way.