Mary McLeod will join the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as its new general counsel, the bureau has announced.
McLeod will replace Meredith Fuchs, current general counsel and acting deputy director, who announced in late July that she would eventually be departing the agency.
McLeod has headed the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State since January 2013. As the senior career attorney in the department, she advised the secretary and other senior officials on all aspects of the department's legal work.
McLeod first joined the Department of State in 1977. In prior service at the Department of State, she served as the principal deputy legal advisor, the legal advisor to the U.S. Mission at the United Nations, and assistant legal advisor for a number of offices, including those responsible for political and military affairs, Eastern Asia and Pacific Affairs, human rights and refugees, and employment law.
She has broad-ranging expertise and experience in international and domestic legal issues, including use of force, the U.N. Charter, international arbitration, federal court litigation, regulatory programs, administrative law and ethics and appropriations law, the CFPB says in a press release.
Fuchs joined the bureau in 2011 as principal deputy general counsel before serving as the chief of staff, general counsel and acting deputy director. During her five years at the bureau, she worked on matters across the full range of the bureau's governance and policy development.
Prior to joining the CFPB, Fuchs served as chief investigative counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and held positions in the non-profit and private sectors. She also served as a law clerk for Judge Patricia M. Wald on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Paul L. Friedman on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Fuchs was to serve as acting deputy director until a permanent replacement was found for Antonakes. Interestingly, Fuchs had announced just prior to her appointment as acting deputy director that she was planning to leave her position as general counsel. She agreed to stay on until the bureau filled the two positions.
The CFPB will announce next steps on the deputy director position in the coming weeks.
‘I am very pleased to welcome Mary to the consumer bureau, as she brings a wealth of experience and tested judgment to our leadership team,’ says Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB. ‘Meredith has been an invaluable asset to the bureau since before we opened our doors, and she will be missed. I am deeply grateful for her contributions to all of her colleagues here and to the American public we serve.’
McLeod's transition into her new role is expected to take place in early 2016.