PCAOB gets new chairperson, board members

By Ken Tysiac

Erica Williams has been named chairperson of the PCAOB, as she and four other members of the oversight board were appointed Monday by the SEC.

Christina Ho, Kara Stein, and Anthony Thompson were named to the board, and Duane DesParte will continue his service as a board member and will remain acting chairperson until Williams is sworn in.

Williams has spent more than a decade in various roles at the SEC, including as deputy chief of staff to three former SEC chairs and assistant chief litigation counsel in the SEC's Division of Enforcement trial unit.

DesParte is a CPA and has served as the PCAOB's acting chairperson since June 4, 2021. He was sworn in as a board member in December 2017.

Ho most recently served as vice president of government analytics and innovation at Elder Research and previously was deputy assistant secretary general for financial transparency and accounting policy for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Stein was an SEC commissioner from 2013 to 2019 and currently serves as distinguished policy fellow and lecturer-in-law at the University of Pennsylvania's Carey Law School and is director of the AI, Data, and Capital Markets Initiative at the Center for Innovation, University of California Hastings Law.

Thompson is executive director and chief administrative officer of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he oversees the Division of Administration.

"Finance is about trust, and the PCAOB has a critical role to play in ensuring that public company financial disclosures can be trusted by investors," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a news release. "With these additions to the board, the PCAOB will have the leadership to meet the mission given to it by Congress."

"The Center for Audit Quality strongly believes in the value of an independent PCAOB as a critical component in maintaining strong public company audits in the U.S.," said Julie Bell Lindsay, CEO of the Center for Audit Quality. "We look forward to ongoing dialogue with the new board on issues impacting audit quality."

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA's editorial director.

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