That did not take long. Less than one week after it was announced that the CFPB’s prolific rulemaking unit--the Office of Regulations--was losing its Assistant Director to private practice, the CFPB has found an acting replacement. The CFPB just announced that Kelly Thompson Cochran will replace Leonard Chanin as the acting Assistant Director of the Office of Regulations. Ms. Cochran currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Director for Regulations at the Bureau under Mr. Chanin and will oversee the nearly 40 lawyers responsible for promulgating the CFPB’s rules and regulations. Prior to joining the Bureau, Ms. Cochran was on the policy staff at the U.S. Treasury Department. Ms. Cochran graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law and clerked for Judges Tatel (D.C. Cir.) and Robertson (D. D.C.). Ms. Cochran was also an associate at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., with a focus on consumer financial services regulatory counseling and litigation.
Mr. Chanin, who was recruited by Elizabeth Warren to join the CFPB and has spent the last year and a half running the Bureau’s rulemaking operations, is leaving the CFPB in September to return to private practice. Prior to joining the CFPB, Chanin served as Deputy Director in the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs of the Federal Reserve Board, where he supervised consumer financial protection regulations. Director Cordray issued a statement saying that, “[d]uring his time at the Bureau, Leonard built an effective rule-writing team that has developed proposals to implement key consumer financial protections that will benefit all Americans. Although we will miss Leonard, he leaves a strong and experienced team that will continue to move forward with this important work." Some, however, including the Slate’s Matthew Yglesias, warn that Mr. Chanin’s departure and the “revolving door” between regulatory agencies and private practice that just one of the difficulties that “the CFPB will have in building a really effective agency over the long term.”
The CFPB-Lawblog will be closely following the CFPB’s activities related to ongoing and future rulemakings, so check back with us regularly for updates on this developing story.