The SEC named Jonathan S. Sokobin as Director of the agency's Office of Risk Assessment (ORA), which is responsible for helping SEC divisions and offices develop new ways to anticipate emerging issues and address potential problems in the securities markets.

The ORA was created in 2004 to help the SEC's senior managers develop new ways to process and analyze information in order to properly assess market risks associated in an increasingly complex market environment. The ORA has introduced various approaches including new technology, statistical and quantitative methods, and enhanced collaboration strategies to help SEC staff make better informed decisions about how best to adjust oversight methods to address emerging challenges.

In the announcement, the SEC noted that OAR will double its professional staff to provide resources and analytical support to the Divisions of Enforcement, Trading and Markets, Investment Management, and Corporation Finance, as well as the Office of the Chief Accountant and the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. The expansion will include the hiring of additional staff this year, and providing additional resources and analytical support to SEC divisions and offices responsible for examining market risks and identifying dangerous illegal practices before they spread into wide-scale problems to the detriment of investors.

Mr. Sokobin joined the SEC in 1998 and has served as Deputy Chief Economist since 2002. Mr. Sokobin replaces the inaugural director of the Office of Risk Assessment, Charles Fishkin, who left the SEC last year.

Prior to joining the SEC staff, Mr. Sokobin was an Assistant Professor of Finance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and he previously worked at the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago. He earned a B.A. in Economics from Ohio State University in 1984, and his MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1988 and 1993 respectively.

Please click http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-24.htm to access a press release about the appointment.