Virginia Tech Pamplin Departments

Sharon Brown-Hruska

Dr. Sharon Brown-Hruska

Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting

Dr. Brown-Hruska is a Vice President in NERA's Securities and Finance Practice. She is a leading expert in securities, options, futures, and energy risk issues. Prior to joining NERA in July 2006, she served as Commissioner (2002-2006) and Acting Chairman (2004-2005) of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Dr. Brown-Hruska served as a member of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets with the Secretary of the Treasury, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She testified on the function and regulation of the US futures and options markets and the Reauthorization of the CFTC before the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, US House of Representatives.

Internationally, Dr. Brown-Hruska has participated in high-level international meetings with members of the European Commission, the Committee of European Securities Commissioners, the International Organization of Securities Commissioners, and various other governmental, regulatory, and financial organizations. Her articles in international regulation have appeared in Revue bancaire et financière, International Commodities Review, and Swiss Derivatives Review.

In enforcement adjudication, Dr. Brown-Hruska issued separate opinions in cases where the decisions could be detrimental to the conduct of business and in the markets regulated by the CFTC. In Hussain, she argued against a standard that viewed a brokerage firm's efforts to liquidate the margin account of a defaulting customer as a form of unauthorized trading. In Precision, she challenged the assumption that omissions absent deceit should be construed as a breach of a fiduciary that rose to the level of fraud. In other cases, she emphasized the importance of using economic methods to achieving deterrence in determining civil monetary penalties and urged the CFTC to be more open to the use of tools derived from economic analysis.

Dr. Brown-Hruska served as Chairman of the CFTC's Technology Advisory Committee. Under her leadership, the Committee explored intellectual property in trading and settlements technology, the usage of exchange settlement prices in over-the-counter markets, and market data piracy. She also served on the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, and as Chairman of its Website Development Committee, which culminated in the launch of, a clearinghouse for financial information.

Prior to her public service, Dr. Brown-Hruska was an Assistant Professor of Finance at George Mason University (1998-2002) and at Tulane University (1995-1998) specializing in derivative and alternative asset markets. Her articles have appeared in Barron's, Journal of Futures Markets, Regulation, and Review of Futures Markets. She holds a PhD and MA in economics and a BA in economics and international studies from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.