This article is more than nine months old

Circle nabs former Trump CFTC regulator to lead legal team

Circle nabs former Trump CFTC regulator to lead legal team
Heath Tarbert chaired the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the presidency of Donald Trump. Credit: Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock
  • Stablecoin issuer Circle hired Heath Tarbert as its chief legal officer.
  • In 2019, Trump appointed Tarbert chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Tarbert left the agency in 2021.

Stablecoin issuer Circle hired Heath Tarbert as its chief legal officer and head of corporate affairs, effective from July 1.

Tarbert has a strong pedigree in government, where he has served in leadership positions in all three branches.

During Tarbert’s early career, he clerked for Clarence Thomas, the scandal-hit Supreme Court justice whose clerks were seeded throughout the administration of former President Donald Trump.

NOW READ: EU regulator hires Ledger’s Nivot to oversee new crypto rules

In 2019, Trump appointed Tarbert chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Tarbert left the agency in 2021, succeeded by the current chair, Rostin Behnam.

Tarbert has served as vice chair of standards body the International Organisation of Securities Commissions. He was assistant secretary of the US Treasury for international markets, G7 and G20 deputy finance minister, a member of the Financial Stability Board, and US executive director of the World Bank Group.

Before joining Circle, Tarbert was chief legal officer of electronic trading firm Citadel Securities.

Revolving door

Tarbert is just one among several former US regulators who have become involved in crypto businesses after their stints in public service.

Join the community to get our latest stories and updates

Former CFTC chair Chris Giancarlo, affectionately dubbed “Crypto Daddy” for his pro-blockchain stance during his tenure, went on to a number of advisory roles related to the technology. These included directing BlockFi and founding the Digital Dollar Project for a US central bank digital currency.

Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton advises crypto-focused VC firm Electric Capital, One River Digital Asset Management, and crypto infrastructure provider Fireblocks.

Brian Brooks, former acting Comptroller of the Currency, joined BinanceUS in April 2021. His tenure there only lasted three months.

Allegations made by the SEC in a lawsuit levelled against the exchange this week suggest that Brooks resigned due to its owner Changpeng “CZ” Zhao’s interference in what was supposed to be an independent arm of the company.

NOW READ: Binance’s CEO micromanaged who bought hoodies. The SEC says that shows his regulatory dodging tactics

Brett Redfearn, formerly head of the SEC’s division of trading and markets, spent four months at Coinbase after leaving the agency in 2021. Redfearn, too, only spent a few months at the exchange.

Related Topics