President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Cyrus Amir-Mokri, a former adviser to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to become an assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury Department.
Amir-Mokri, whose nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, was one of the architects of last year's financial overhaul bill. According to the White House statement, Amir-Mokri most recently served as Senior Counsel to the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission where he also was the agency's deputy representative to the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Amir-Mokri was a partner at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. His practice focused on complex securities and antitrust litigation. He clerked for the Honorable Bruce M. Selya of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Mr. Amir-Mokri received a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago, and an A.B. in Biochemistry from Harvard College.
While at Harvard College, Dr. Amir-Mokri served as co-editor-in-chief of the Harvard International Review and authored a study of the impact of the Kennedy Administration's foreign policy on the "White Revolution" in Iran.
At the University of Chicago, Dr. Amir-Mokri concentrated on the fields of modern and medieval Islamic history, Islamic thought, and diplomatic history, particularly that of the United States. In Dr. Amir-Mokri's dissertation, he examined the ideology and long-term legacy of Iran's constitutional revolution. He is also co-author, with Marvin Zonis, of "The Islamic Republic of Iran," published in a volume entitled Politics and Government in the Middle East and North Africa.
Following graduate school, Dr. Amir-Mokri attended the University of Chicago Law School. While at the Law School, he served as a fellow at the Center for the Study of Constitutionalism in Eastern Europe, studying the interaction between the rule of law, legal institutions, economic development and political participation.
Dr. Amir-Mokri has a long and distinguished record of pro bono work and service to the Iranian American community. He has represented inmates on death row, prisoners with civil rights claims and political asylum applicants. He is a two-term director and supporter of the Iranian American Bar Association, he played a central role in supervising the preparation of position papers on recent United States immigration policies and an independent report on the implementation of certain of those policies. Dr. Amir-Mokri is also a founding member and supporter of the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), which is devoted to encouraging Iranian Americans to participate in the civic and political life of the United States. He played a major role in merging IAPAC with the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, which is committed to expanding those goals.