Satyam Khanna has been appointed senior policy adviser to the SEC in a new role addressing climate and ESG issues, Acting Chairman Alison Helen Lee said Monday.
In this role, Khanna will advise the Securities and Exchange Commission on ESG issues and “promote relevant new initiatives across its offices and divisions,” including reviewing the agency’s regulations, Lee said in a statement. She called climate risk and other her ESG issues “a very important issue for investors and capital markets.”
Until recently, Mr. Khanna was a Resident Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Governance and Finance at NYU Law School and a member of President Joe Biden’s transition team for financial regulators. He returns to his SEC where he was an advisor to former Commissioner Robert. J. Jackson Jr. and served on the Asset Owners Subcommittee of the agency’s Investor Advisory Board.
Steven M. Rothstein, managing director of Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, said in a separate statement that Khanna’s appointment to the new role would require disclosure of climate risk and the recognition of climate change as a systemic financial risk. I said it was an important step to address. Rothstein praised Lee’s leadership on climate risk disclosure and said he was encouraged by Khanna’s experience with the SEC and the Financial Stability Oversight Council and his position on climate change. “We look forward to working with him to address the systemic risks to our markets and economy,” Rothstein said.
The U.S. banking sector was exposed to far more climate risk than banks currently disclose to regulators and investors, according to an October report from Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets. The organization has also made over 50 recommendations to the SEC and other financial regulators on how to address climate as a systemic risk.