William Bagley was appointed by President Gerald Ford to serve as the first Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shortly after the agency was established in 1974. With flare and humor, he set a permanent imprint on the agency’s structure and functions during an era of governmental reform and transparency. He also served as one of the founding board members of the Futures Industry Association. Futures Hall of Fame Member Leo Melamed wrote to Bill after his resignation from the CFTC, “No one other than you alone knows what is involved in setting up a brand new federal agency…so to you I take my hat off and say—well done.”
At 85, he continues to practice law in the San Francisco area for the law firm Nossaman LLP, capping a legal career that spans 60 years and includes admission to the U.S. Supreme Court bar. He has served as a member of the University of California Board of Regents and was named alumnus of the year in 2002 by the California Alumni Association. He has served on the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Transportation Commission. He also served in the California legislature, representing Marin and Sonoma counties and successfully authoring more than 500 pieces of civil law legislation.