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CFPB promoting Kristen Donoghue to be new head of enforcement

Top deputy replacing Anthony Alexis, who is leaving later this month

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has found its new head of enforcement, elevating one of its own to replace Anthony Alexis, who recently announced plans to step down.

The CFPB told HousingWire Wednesday that long-time CFPB employee Kristen Donoghue will take over for Alexis when he leaves later this month.

Donoghue has been with the CFPB for six years, joining the bureau in 2011 as an enforcement attorney. Prior to that, Donoghue was a litigation attorney at Hogan Lovells for 13 years.

While at the CFPB, Donoghue rose from enforcement attorney, to assistant litigation deputy in the office of enforcement, to assistant deputy director for policy and strategy in the office of enforcement, to deputy enforcement director, and finally to principal deputy enforcement director – serving as Alexis’ top deputy.

And now, she will be taking over as assistant director for enforcement for Alexis, whose last day at the CFPB will be Nov. 17.

“Kristen Donoghue has been an essential member of the Consumer Bureau’s enforcement team since the very first days of the agency,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement provided to HousingWire.

“Kristen is a proven leader who has demonstrated her integrity, deep knowledge of financial services and consumer protection, and commitment to public service,” Cordray continued.

“I am grateful she has accepted this new role,” Cordray concluded. “I also want to thank Tony Alexis for everything he has done for the Consumer Bureau, and for his years of service seeking justice and relief for American consumers.”

According to this article from Law.com, the CFPB only considered internal candidates to serve as Alexis’ replacement. The reason? The looming end of Cordray’s term.

From Law.com:

Donoghue’s time in her new role may be brief. Regardless of whether Cordray resigns to pursue his widely rumored interest in the Ohio gubernatorial race, his days leading the watchdog agency are numbered. Cordray’s five-year term is set to expire in July 2018, and the replacement picked by President Donald Trump will likely bring in a new senior leadership team.

The CFPB only considered internal candidates to replace Alexis. One former CFPB attorney said it would have been difficult to “get the cream of the crop” outside the agency with Cordray’s five-year term fast-approaching its end.

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