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Top Hensarling aide named CFPB chief of staff

Kirsten Sutton Mork served as House Financial Services Committee staff director

Earlier this year, the House Financial Services Committee announced that its staff director, Kirsten Sutton Mork, would be leaving the committee staff “in the coming weeks” to become the chief of staff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Now, it’s official.

The CFPB announced Tuesday that CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney named Mork to the position of chief of staff.

While working for the House Financial Services Committee, Mork was a top aide to Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who has never been shy when it comes to expressing his dislike for the CFPB.

At the CFPB, Mork will be filling the role previously held by Leandra English, a top aide to former director Richard Cordray, who stepped down in November.

Cordray’s departure and English’s promotion to deputy director left the position of chief of staff open, theoretically positioned English to serve as acting director, and set off a legal battle over who’s really in charge of the CFPB.

In certain people’s view, English serving as deputy director meant that she was the rightful person to serve as acting director, but the Trump administration fought against Cordray’s line of succession and installed Mulvaney, who also serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, as acting director.

That set off a legal battle over who was really in charge of the CFPB, but a federal judge twice sided with Trump over English, handing control to Mulvaney until the Senate confirms a permanent CFPB director.

English didn’t stop there though, and took her case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where it is due to be heard in the next two months.

In the mean time, Mork is now set to move into English’s old job and carry out Mulvaney’s vision for the CFPB.

“I am pleased to announce Ms. Sutton Mork as the new chief of staff at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection,” Mulvaney said in a statement.

“I worked with Kirsten during my tenure as a member on the House Financial Services Committee and can attest to her in-depth financial policy expertise, proven track record of developing and implementing strategic initiatives, and ability to manage a team,” Mulvaney continued. “Kirsten brings with her more than a decade of invaluable experience that will advance the mission of the Bureau and make it more efficient, effective, and accountable.” 

According to the earlier announcement from the House Financial Services Committee, Mork served in Hensarling’s personal office as financial services policy advisor and then legislative director from 2009 to 2013, before being appointed as the Financial Services Committee’s deputy staff director in 2013.

Mork had been staff director for the committee since early 2017.

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