Headshot of Kara Stein

Kara Stein

Director, AI & Capital Markets Initiative, Center for Innovation


Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013 and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, Kara Stein served as a commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for five years, advocating for sweeping changes to the Commission’s rules and practices for the digital age. During her tenure, she focused on identifying ways to enhance securities market structure to promote efficiency and resiliency.

Commissioner Stein was integral in the SEC’s shortening of the settlement cycle for equities and fixed income trading, enhancing clearing agency standards, and furthering the adoption of machine-readable disclosures wherever possible. She was also a vocal advocate for the timely completion of the consolidated audit trail (CAT), comparing it to the Hubble Space Telescope for the securities markets.

Commissioner Stein also advocated for strong investor protections and for updating the Commission’s rules to put investors first. She also raised concerns about the looming retirement crisis and called for the formation of a Presidential Working Group on Retirement Security and advanced initiatives to further increase competition and facilitate capital formation in our markets and often traveled to hubs of innovation and start-up company incubators.

Since departing the SEC, Stein has joined the UC Law SF Center for Innovation (C4i) as Director of the AI, Data, & Capital Markets Initiative. She is a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law, where she teaches courses on financial and securities regulation. Stein is an independent board member of the Investors Exchange Board (IEX) and serves on the IEX Regulatory Oversight Committee. She also serves a member of the Financial Stability Task Force convened by the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution and the Initiative for Global Markets at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.