Harvey Pitt

Harvey Pitt
26th Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
In office
August 3, 2001  February 18, 2003
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Arthur Levitt
Succeeded by William H. Donaldson
Personal details
Born February 28, 1945 (1945-02-28)
Brooklyn, New York
Political party Republican
Alma mater Brooklyn College (B.A.)
St. John's University (J.D.)

Harvey Pitt (b. Brooklyn, New York, February 28, 1945) was the 26th chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), serving from 2001-2003.


Pitt graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1961,[1] Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree in 1965, and from St. John's University School of Law with a JD degree in 1968. From 1968 to 1978, he served on the staff of the SEC, eventually becoming the agency's youngest-ever General Counsel in 1975, aged 30.

Pitt received an honorary LL.D. degree from St. John's University School of Law in 2002, and received the President's Medal of Distinction from the President of Brooklyn College in 2003.

He is the father of four, a columnist with Compliance Week, and a speaker and regular commentator in webcasts and television interviews on financial matters.


Pitt became the target of criticism when the Enron scandal broke out on his watch. Democrats alleged that he was too close to the accounting industry [2] and that he subverted efforts to tighten regulation in the wake of the Enron scandal and other cases of corporate malfeasance. Pitt resigned after attempting to appoint a board member (William Hedgcock Webster - former FBI and CIA Director) from a company under SEC investigation to head a commission overseeing the accounting industry. The GAO later cleared Pitt.[3] Pitt has also been blamed for not investigating millions of dollars made due to "put options" place on United, and American Airlines just prior to Sept. 11, 2001.



  1. Wexler, Sanford (July 2001). "The SEC's New Pit Bull: But Religious Right' Want Another Chairman". Traders Magazine. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  2. Milbank, Dana (July 11, 2002). "SEC Chairman Pitt A Potential Liability To Administration; Bush Defends Regulator From Critics". The Washington Post. p. A6.
  3. "GAO Report Expected to Clear SEC's Harvey Pitt". AccountingWEB. December 13, 2002. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  4. "Harvey Pitt - Chief Executive Officer". Kalorama Partners, LLP. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  5. "CQS adds City and military prowess to board". Financial News.
Government offices
Preceded by
Arthur Levitt
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair
2001 2003
Succeeded by
William H. Donaldson
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