Jina L. Choi, director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s San Francisco regional office, is set to leave her post at the end of this month, the agency announced Thursday.
Choi, a Chicago native and career SEC enforcement lawyer, has been at the SEC for more than 16 years and has led the agency’s San Francisco office since 2013. During her tenure, the San Francisco office has brought enforcement actions involving Tesla and the Twitter activity of its CEO Elon Musk, fraud allegations against Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes, and inadequate disclosures by Yahoo Inc. about a series of data breaches.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to have served the public with so many skilled and dedicated professionals,” Choi said in a statement from the SEC. “The talent, values, and unwavering dedication of the San Francisco office staff is extraordinary and I am grateful to have been part of the culture of excellence, integrity, teamwork and generosity that exists in San Francisco and throughout the SEC.”
Choi had a reputation as a “tough but fair” enforcement attorney before taking the reins of the office five years ago. She joined the SEC in 2000 as a staff attorney in San Francisco, her work home for all but about 18 months since then. She worked briefly as a federal prosecutor in the Northern District of Texas handling cybercrime, anti-terrorism, drug and money laundering cases. After returning to the SEC’s San Francisco office, she rose to branch chief in 2005 and assistant director for enforcement in 2010.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement that Choi’s “leadership and thoughtful approach to new and complex issues has served the Commission and investors very well.”
“Under Jina’s direction, our dedicated staff in San Francisco has established important precedents that benefit the interests of our long-term investors, which we will continue to follow in the years ahead,” Clayton said.
Reached by email Thursday, Choi said she plans to take “a few months” off to spend with her family before starting any “new professional endeavors.”