FIA hosted Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission for a "lunch and learn" conversation with high school students on 2 August as part of the Greenwood Project's outreach to young people interested in pursuing careers in financial services.
The conversation focused in part on how Johnson got her start in the industry, tips for young professionals building their career, and the importance of pursuing your interests and passions.
Johnson noted that she graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and studied comparative economics. Johnson shared that during her time at Georgetown she completed two intensive study abroad programs and received fluency certifications in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
She told the students not to let naysayers prevent them from pursuing their dreams. "You have the potential. You can do anything you set your mind to," Johnson said. "And if anyone says otherwise, you send them to me."
In addition to offering practical advice on how to get started in college and the workplace, Johnson also fielded questions from students curious about enforcement actions, commodity markets, and other topics in CFTC-regulated markets. Johnson emphasized the CFTC's critical role regulating derivatives markets and noted that the agency's mandate "includes oversight of commodity derivatives including derivatives of cryptocurrencies that are commodities as defined in the Commodity Exchange Act." Johnson also noted that "the Commission polices both the derivatives markets and the underlying cash markets for many types of fraudulent conduct including insider trading."
"Students like these represent the future of derivatives markets," said FIA Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel Allison Lurton, who moderated the discussion. "FIA is so pleased we could connect Commissioner Johnson with Greenwood so she could share her story and show these bright young people what is possible."
FIA is a proud partner of the Greenwood Project, a non-profit focused on introducing Black and Latinx students to careers within the financial industry via paid summer internships in financial firms, academic instruction and mentorships.
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