Michele Layne, Director of Los Angeles Regional Office, to Leave SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Michele Layne, the Director of the Los Angeles Regional Office, is leaving the agency this month after more than 27 years of service. Cindy Eson and Kate Zoladz will become Acting Co-Directors upon Ms. Layne’s departure.
“I commend Michele for her long dedication to public service here at the SEC, where she rose from a staff attorney in our Division of Enforcement to our Regional Director in Los Angeles,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “As one of the SEC’s longest-serving Regional Directors, Michele performed important work to help protect investors and promote confidence in our markets. I also extend my thanks to Cindy and Kate for serving as the office’s new Acting Co-Directors.”
“From her leadership on major cases to her stewardship of the Los Angeles Regional Office, Michele has left a huge mark on the Enforcement Division and the SEC at large,” said Gurbir Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “I cannot thank her enough for her service and I wish her well on her next adventure.”
“Michele has been a tremendous leader for the Los Angeles Regional Office and she has played a significant role in our ongoing efforts to promote compliance and protect American investors,” said Richard R. Best, Director of the SEC’s Division of Examinations. “We are extremely grateful for her unwavering dedication to the Division’s and agency’s mission throughout the years.”
Ms. Layne said, “I will be forever grateful for the privilege to have worked with so many talented public servants at the SEC. I have been honored and humbled for the honor of leading the SEC’s Los Angeles staff whose exceptional thoughtfulness, creativity, fairness, and tenacity has contributed to advancing the SEC’s mission each and every day.”
Ms. Layne has overseen all examinations, investigations, and enforcement litigation across the Los Angeles region, which includes Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, Nevada, and Southern California. She began her SEC career in 1996 as a Staff Attorney in the Enforcement Division. She became Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the Los Angeles office in 2005 before being promoted to Regional Director in 2012. Ms. Layne graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Los Angeles, and she received her law degree from the University of Southern California.
Ms. Eson serves as an Associate Regional Director and leads the examinations program in the Los Angeles office. She has worked at the SEC for nearly 28 years, including as a Staff Attorney, Branch Chief, and Senior Investigative Counsel in the Division of Enforcement. She became Assistant Regional Director in the Division of Examinations in 2013. Ms. Eson received her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Miami and her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law. She is a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional.
Ms. Zoladz has served as Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the Los Angeles Regional Office since 2019. She began her SEC service in 2010 as a Staff Attorney in the Los Angeles office. She joined the Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit in 2017 and later became Assistant Regional Director in Los Angeles. Ms. Zoladz earned her bachelor's degree magna cum laude in international politics from Georgetown University and her law degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.