Robert J. Jackson, Jr. has spent his career identifying pragmatic solutions to some of the most challenging and pressing issues in securities law. Mr. Jackson has extensive experience as a corporate lawyer, policy professional, and legal scholar where his work has focused on corporate governance and executive pay. On January 11th, 2018 Mr. Jackson was sworn in as commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.).
Mr. Jackson is an award-winning teacher and respected academic who has written more than 20 articles in some of the nation’s most prestigious legal and economics journals. His most recent research has focused on using empirical data to study the impact of activist investors, hedge funds, and other asset managers on financial markets. Mr. Jackson has testified about his work before the U.S. Senate, and his research has been the subject of rulemaking commentary before several federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve and the S.E.C.
As a strong advocate for the use of new technologies, Mr. Jackson has been exploring possible uses to improve the reliability of corporate disclosures and previously served as the founding director of Columbia Law School’s DataLab. In one recent paper, he used advanced computer science techniques to identify high speed trading activity on S.E.C. systems—and worked to help the S.E.C. modernize its systems to create a level playing field for investors.
Mr. Jackson has also led the charge for transparency in markets and at the S.E.C. itself. He successfully advocated for the S.E.C. to disclose additional information about stockbroker fraud, leading to cutting-edge investigative work that helped expose brokers most likely to defraud investors. He also chaired an effort to petition the S.E.C. to require public companies to disclose when they spend shareholder money on politics—a proposal that a bipartisan group of former S.E.C. Commissioners called a “slam dunk.”
Before joining NYU School of Law, Mr. Jackson was a professor of law at Columbia University and director of the Program on Corporate Law and Policy. Previously, he has served as a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, working with Kenneth Feinberg, the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation. In this role, he oversaw the development of policies designed to give shareholders a say on pay, improve the disclosure of executive bonuses, and encourage TARP recipients to more closely tie pay to performance. Previously, Mr. Jackson practiced in the executive compensation department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Mr. Jackson has a distinguished academic background, having earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, a master’s degree from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He was born and raised in the Bronx and is a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees.