William H. Donaldson was appointed the 27th chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 18, 2003. As SEC chairman, Donaldson is charged with carrying out the law regulates the accounting industry.
Prior to becoming SEC chairman, Donaldson served as chairman and chief executive officer of a private investment firm he founded in 1981. He also served as chairman of the board for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1990, Donaldson was nominated as chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange -- positions he held until 1995. Earlier in his career, Donaldson worked on Wall Street as the CEO of a major international investment banking firm that he co-founded in 1959.
Donaldson has also held senior positions in government and academia. He helped found Yale University's Graduate School of Management in the late 1970s, and served as its first dean. From 1973 to 1975, Donaldson served in the Nixon administration, first as Undersecretary of State and later as counsel and special adviser to then-Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.
Donaldson received his bachelor's degree in American Studies from Yale University in 1953. After serving two years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Donaldson received an master's degree in business administration from Harvard University in 1958.