David Meister

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David Meister
Occupation Director of Enforcement
Employer U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Location Washington, DC
Website www.cftc.gov

David Meister is the former director of enforcement for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The CFTC announced Meister's departure on October 1, 2013.[1]

Meister, a former U.S. criminal prosecutor, was named director of enforcement by CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler on November 1, 2010.[2]

His tenure included writing new rules to expand the authority of the CFTC's Enforcement Unit, overhauling the unit's management ranks and filing a record number of actions against the financial industry. One of Meister's notable investigations cracked down on banks including UBS and Barclays due to manipulation of benchmark interest rates.[3]

In 2011, Meister participated in the investigation of bankrupt broker-dealer MF Global, asking MF regulator CME Group to step aside during a conference call with CME Group lawyers. Meister may have been investigating CME Group in addition to MF Global, but that fact was not confirmed.[4]


Meister has 25 years of experience in investigations, litigation and trials involving fraud and other complex schemes relating to United States financial markets. He joined the CFTC from the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he was a partner in the firm's white collar crime group.[5]

He replaced the temporary appointee Vincent McGonagle as director of enforcement at the CFTC.[6]

Meister previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he was a member of that Office's Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. In that capacity, he represented the government in numerous jury trials and appeals. He handled criminal cases involving market manipulation; insider trading; bank, securities and commodities fraud; accounting irregularities, obstruction of justice and other federal criminal violations.[7]


Meister is a member of the Judiciary Committee of the New York City Bar Association. He graduated from the Columbia University School of Law in 1987, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He graduated cum laude from the University of Delaware in 1984, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering.[8][9]


  1. CFTC Announces Departure of Enforcement Director David Meister. U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  2. Ex-federal prosecutor to head CFTC enforcement. Chicago Tribune.
  3. Financial Watchdog With Bite to Depart His Agency. The New York Times.
  4. MF Global Inquiry Turns to Its Primary Regulator. New York Times.
  5. C.F.T.C. Is Set to Get Tougher on Fraud. New York Times Dealbook.
  6. CFTC appoints new head of enforcement. Financial Times.
  7. David Meister Is CFTC’s New Director of Enforcement. Financial Fraud Law.
  8. Chairman Gary Gensler Announces the Appointment of David Meister as Director of Enforcement. CFTC.
  9. Ex-Prosecutor to Head CFTC Enforcement. WSJ.