SEC appoints Indian American Gurbir Grewal as Director of Enforcement

Gurbir Grewal (Courtesy of Youtube)

America’s first Sikh state attorney general set to take up critical role to protect investors.

New Jersey’s Indian American Attorney General. Gurbir S. Grewal is joining the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Director of the Division of Enforcement, from July 26.

In his new role, Grewal, America’s first Sikh state attorney general, will be charged with pursuing violations of law for the SEC, which regulates the nation’s financial markets, the agency, announced Tuesday.

Grewal became New Jersey’s top law enforcement officer in January 2018, when he was confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate after being nominated by Governor Phil Murphy.

Murphy, a Democrat, called Grewal and “invaluable member of our administration.”

Read: NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla honored at 2019 SALDEF gala (April 11, 2019)

“The Enforcement Division has a critical role to play in finding and punishing violations of the law,” Grewal said in a statement. “I’m excited to get to work with the talented team of public servants to uncover and prosecute misconduct and protect investors.”

“I’m honored and delighted to welcome Attorney General Grewal to the SEC,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “He has had a distinguished career as New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer and as a prosecutor at both the local and federal levels.”

“He has the ideal combination of experience, values, and leadership ability to helm the Enforcement Division at this critical time. I look forward to working closely with him to protect investors and root out wrongdoing in our markets,” said Gensler.

Read: “Meet Gurbir Grewal, America’s first Sikh attorney general (January 18, 2018)

Grewal has been a high-profile attorney general, filing lawsuits for the state against former President Donald Trump’s administration, including on border separations, the environment and the Affordable Care Act.

His tenure included several high-profile changes. His office put out guidance surrounding the passage of a constitutional amendment allowing recreational marijuana.

Read: Bergen County Sheriff resigns over racists remarks about Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (September 21, 2018)

The Department of Law and Public Safety, which he heads, unveiled a new use-of-force dashboard so the public can view when police use violence in the line of duty.

In 2018, his office began bringing environmental lawsuits against alleged polluters again, for the first time in a decade.

Grewal also began suing out-of-state gun retailers for sales in New Jersey that ran afoul of state law, while promoting the state’s new stricter gun control laws passed under Murphy’s administration.

Also in 2018, he limited state law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities in a directive that drew a clear line between the responsibilities of New Jersey’s 36,000 law enforcement officers and federal immigration authorities.

Before becoming attorney general, Grewal was the Bergen County prosecutor, the top law enforcement office of New Jersey’s most populous county.

He also served as an assistant US attorney in the criminal division in the US Attorney’s office in New Jersey. He was the head of the economic crimes unit from 2014 to 2016, overseeing major white collar and cyber crime prosecutions in the state.

Earlier he was an assistant US Attorney in the criminal division of Eastern District of New York, and he was in in private practice from 1999-2004 and from 2008-2010.

Read: New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal Resigns Post to Join SEC as Director of Enforcement Division (July 1, 2021)

Grewal graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1995. He obtained his law degree from the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law in 1999.

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