SEC appoints new PCAOB chairman and board members

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 12 appointed Senate aide William Duhnke III to chair the five-member Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

The PCAOB is the nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies.

Duhnke, who replaces James Doty as PCAOB chairman, is currently the Staff Director and General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. He previously served as Staff Director and General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations. 

Also named to the PCAOB were:

  • J. Robert Brown Jr., a professor of corporate and securities law at the University of Denver with a specialty in corporate governance;
  • Kathleen Hamm, a former Treasury Department and SEC official who works at consulting firm Promontory Financial Group, in Washington, as global leader of securities and financial technology services and as senior adviser on cybersecurity; 
  • James Kaiser, a partner and the Global Assurance Methodology & Transformation Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where he leads the firm's efforts to drive innovation in auditing and has responsibility for the firm's adherence to international auditing standards; and
  • Duane DesParte, who will be leaving his job as senior vice president and corporate controller at Exelon Corp., Chicago. DesParte previously was an audit partner at Deloitte & Touche and, before that, Arthur Andersen.

Leaving the PCAOB along with Doty are Board members Steven Harris, Jeanette Franzel and Lewis Ferguson. A fourth seat on the Board had been vacant since the 2016 resignation of Jay Hanson.

During the AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments earlier this month, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told reporters the SEC was assembling “a really high-quality, diverse group” with “diverse perspectives” on the PCAOB. “I’m not looking for any radical change in the way we approach this,” Clayton said of the PCAOB's work.