Professor Roberta Karmel Receives William O. Douglas Award


Professor Roberta Karmel was presented with the William O. Douglas Award at the 25th annual Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni (ASECA) dinner on Feb. 24, in Washington, D.C.

The award, instituted in 1992, is presented each year to an SEC alumnus or alumna who has contributed to the development of the Federal securities laws or who has served the financial and SEC community with distinction and whose achievements are considered extraordinary by his or her peers. The recipient’s contributions to the protection of the investing public are given significant weight as well.

“I am honored to be receiving this prestigious award, and to be listed in the company of such outstanding SEC officials who received this award in the past," Karmel said. "I have always been grateful to the SEC for providing me with such a good foundation for my career as a securities lawyer. I also appreciate ASECA’s contributions for scholarships and awards for my students and others.”

"We are thrilled to honor Professor Karmel with our Douglas award this year," said ASECA president and Skadden partner Brian V. Breheny. "Her numerous contributions to the SEC and financial service community over her storied career make her uniquely qualified for this recognition."

Professor Karmel is a former Commissioner of the SEC, a former Public Director of the New York Stock Exchange, and was in private practice for 30 years. She also was a Fulbright Scholar studying the harmonization of the securities laws in the European Union.

She is the author of 2014’s Life at the Center: Reflections on Fifty Years of Securities Regulation as well as 1984’s Regulation by Prosecution: The Securities and Exchange Commission Versus Corporate America. She has widely published articles on securities regulation and international securities law in dozens of law reviews and journals, and her column, "Securities Regulation," appears bi-monthly in the New York Law Journal.

Professor Karmel's professional activities and affiliations are numerous. She is the Chair Emerita of the Board of Trustees of the Practicing Law Institute, a member of the American Law Institute, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She also serves on the ABA's Presidential Task Force on Financial Markets Regulatory Reform. She previously served as a director of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors and was the Vice-Chair of the International Coordinating Committee of the American Bar Association Business Law Section.

A member of the faculty since 1985, Professor Karmel has played an instrumental role in leading the activities of the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law as the Center’s co-director, and with developing the Center for the Study of Business Law & Regulation. In 2009, she was the Harry Cross Visiting Professor at the University of Washington School of Law. In addition to receiving the Douglas award, other career honors include Phi Beta Kappa Alpha Iota of Massachusetts at Harvard College (Hon.) and the American Bar Association Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. In 2015, she was honored as an Icon of Brooklyn Law School.

ASECA is a non-profit charitable organization whose stated mission is to provide the opportunity for education and growth of industry professionals, to promote study and research in the field of securities law, and to educate members on securities law by means of lectures, seminars and publications. ASECA recently awarded $5,000 scholarships to Drita Dokic '18 and David Weisner '17, as students aspiring to careers in public service and specifically at the SEC.

Read Professor Karmel's remarks.