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Obama to tap former federal prosecutor to head SEC

" President Barack Obama will nominate former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, the White House said on Thursday, showing a desire to have a tough cop policing Wall Street.

White, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was known for prosecuting terrorists and mob figures, would become the third consecutive woman to hold the powerful post.

She would succeed current SEC Chairman Elisse Walter, who took over in December after predecessor Mary Schapiro stepped down."

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HIGH-PROFILE CASES

White, now a respected white-collar defense attorney with the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton, was the only woman in the 200-year history of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York to serve in the top spot there.

She was in office from 1993 through to 2002, during a tumultuous time starting with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and then later, the infamous Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Under her watch, the U.S. Attorney's office won about 35 convictions of militant Muslims charged with plotting against Americans.

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"So far, the reaction from liberal-leaning groups has been positive.

"Mary Jo White was a tough, smart, no nonsense, broadly experienced and highly accomplished prosecutor. She knew who the bad guys were, went after them and put them in prison when they broke the law," said Dennis Kelleher, the president of the non-profit organization Better Markets."

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Read full Reuters article here

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