Oral History of Brooksley E. Born

Brooksley Born is a retired partner of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP where she practiced for more than thirty years. She was head of the firm’s derivatives practice, chaired its pro bono committee and associates evaluation committee, and served on its policy committee. From 1996 to 1999, Ms. Born was chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal agency that oversees futures and commodity option markets, and strongly advocated the need for federal regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market. That unregulated market played a significant role in the 2007-2008 financial crisis. She also served as a Commissioner on the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission from 2009 until early 2011, when the Commission issued its report on the causes of the financial crisis and resulting economic crisis. Currently she is a member of the Systemic Risk Council, an independent non-partisan group dedicated to regulatory reform of U.S. financial markets.

Ms. Born has championed women’s rights, civil rights and the rights of the indigent. She serves on the board of the National Women’s Law Center which she helped to found and has served on the boards of a number of other public interest legal organizations. She has also served on the boards of the American Bar Association, the American Bar Foundation and ALI-ABA and has chaired a number of ABA entities including the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (now the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice), the Women’s Caucus, and the Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary.

She has received awards recognizing her public service including the Justice Thurgood Marshall Award of the District of Columbia Bar, the Philip Hart Public Service Award of the Consumer Federation of America, the Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service of the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Public Service Award of the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the Outstanding Service Award of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, the Profile in Courage Award of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the American Lawyer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Outstanding Public Interest Advocate of the Year Award of the National Association of Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works), and the Woman Lawyer of the Year Award of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Ms. Born received her law degree from Stanford Law School where she was President of the Stanford Law Review and received the Outstanding Senior Award. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, she was a law clerk to Judge Henry W. Edgerton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Curriculum Vitae

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Brooksley E. BornA.B.A.: Previous Margaret Brent Women Law. Achievement Award Recipients, See video of introduction and acceptance speech.