Updated 5:09 p.m.
President Obama has selected former Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner Timothy Massad to lead the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a White House official said.
Massad currently serves as assistant secretary for financial stability at the Department of the Treasury, where he oversees the government's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. He's held the post since 2011.
Obama is expected to make the nomination announcement this afternoon at an event at the White House. Current CFTC chairman Gary Gensler, whose five-year term expires at the end of the year, will also attend the event.
The CFTC has ramped up enforcement over the past two years—ever since the Dodd-Frank Act expanded the agency's jurisdiction to include the $300 trillion swaps market.
Obama plans to tout Massad's experience in private practice—he worked at Cravath for about 17 years as a partner—in addition to his work at Treasury dealing with financial markets and the economic crisis, the White House official said.
Massad developed extensive knowledge of the derivatives market through his work as manager of Cravath's corporate finance practice, the White House official said. A partner since 1992, Massad left Cravath to work as a special legal advisor for the Congressional Oversight Panel that examined the financial crisis.
At Treasury, Massad managed the TARP program, served on the team that helped save the automobile industry and worked on housing programs to help recover from the foreclosure crisis, the White House said.
In remarks this afternoon, Obama highlighted how Massad has "quietly been very successful" at overseeing the TARP program.
"I have every confidence that he is the right man to lead an agency designed to prevent future crises–because I think it's safe to say that he never wants to have to manage something like TARP again," Obama said, drawing laughter in the room.
"Tim is a guy who doesn't seek the spotlight, but he consistently delivers," Obama said. "He gets a high return for American taxpayers without a lot of fanfare."