Crypto firm Circle lands former US regulatory head as CLO

CEO of stablecoin USDC-creator hails “extraordinary step in Circle’s growth as a global company”

Photo courtesy of Circle

Crypto firm Circle Internet Financial has appointed the former chair and chief executive of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Heath Tarbert as its new chief legal officer, replacing general counsel Flavia Naves who announced her departure from the company earlier this year. 

Tarbert joins from Citadel Securities, where he has spent the last two years as CLO. At Circle, he will join the company’s executive committee, supporting its global growth strategy and serving as head of corporate affairs. Circle is the creator of the stablecoin USDC.

Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s co-founder and CEO, said: “The opportunity to welcome Heath’s expertise and leadership to our executive team is an extraordinary step in Circle’s growth as a global company. As we continue building a bridge between traditional finance and Web3, Heath’s perspective, legal acumen and global regulatory experience will help us advance the utility value of USDC worldwide.”

Prior to joining Citadel, Tarbert headed the CFTC, which has been battling for control of crypto regulation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Tarbert also previously had spells at the US Treasury Department as acting undersecretary for international affairs and as acting US executive director at the World Bank. His resume includes stints as a partner at Allen & Overy and Weil Gotshal & Manages, as well as associate counsel in the White House during the last six months of George W. Bush’s administration.

He was also law clerk to Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas, having started his career as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. 

Tarbert said: “I’ve long been intrigued by both Jeremy Allaire’s vision of moving money safely at internet speed and Circle’s tangible accomplishments as a respected, trusted global leader in payments with a regulatory-first approach. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to help Circle’s efforts to evolve the global financial system and encourage policymakers to establish sound rules for digital assets that provide clarity, coherence and protection for people and businesses.”

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