June 30, 2021
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, the first Sikh-American attorney general in U.S. history, will be leaving his position to join the Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of next month.
Starting July 26, Grewal will serve as director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, the agency said Tuesday.
"The Enforcement Division has a critical role to play in finding and punishing violations of the law," Grewal said. "I'm excited to get to work with the talented team of public servants to uncover and prosecute misconduct and protect investors. I thank Governor Murphy for the opportunity to serve the people of New Jersey and all of the colleagues with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work during my career in the state."
"I'm honored and delighted to welcome Attorney General Grewal to the SEC," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said. "He has had a distinguished career as New Jersey's chief law enforcement officer and as a prosecutor at both the local and federal levels. He has the ideal combination of experience, values and leadership ability to helm the Enforcement Division at this critical time. I look forward to working closely with him to protect investors and root out wrongdoing in our markets."
Grewal has served as New Jersey's top law enforcement official since Jan. 2018 after being nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy and confirmed by the state legislature.
Among Grewal's signature initiatives while serving as New Jersey's attorney general was police reform.
Late last year, Grewal issued extensive reforms to the state's use-of-force policies. It was the first time that such policies had been updated in two decades. Among updates included the prohibition of all physical and deadly force by law enforcement officials against civilians.
Grewal signed a directive last June requiring all state, county and local law enforcement agencies to publish an annual list of officers who had been fired, demoted or suspended for more than five days due to disciplinary action. It ordered each agency to release its first list by the end of 2020.
All uniformed state, county and local patrol law enforcement officers are now required to wear body cameras. The state is also seeking to implement the licensing of all police officers.
Additionally, all New Jersey police officers are now barred from using chokeholds and could face criminal charges if they do.
"Through his efforts standing up to the Trump administration's attacks on New Jersey and our diverse communities, instituting historic reforms in policing and leading the fight against gun violence, Attorney General Grewal has been an invaluable member of our administration and a dedicated public servant to the residents of New Jersey," Murphy said. "Though we'll miss his leadership, I know he's the right person to protect investors all across the nation, and I congratulate SEC Chair Gensler for this outstanding selection."
Grewal was the first Sikh-American county prosecutor in U.S. history when he served as Bergen County prosecutor from 2016-2018. While serving as county prosecutor, Grewal focused on initiatives such as fighting the opioid epidemic and improving relationships between police and local communities.
Grewal previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey's Criminal Division from 2010-2016. He was responsible for leading the Economic Crimes Unit from 2014-2016, where he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of all major white collar and cybercrimes in the state.
Grewal also previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York from 2004-2007, where he was assigned to the Business and Securities Fraud Unit. Grewal was responsible for investigating and prosecuting narcotics offenses, white-collar crimes and terrorism cases.
The New Jersey native has also worked in private practice from 1999-2004 in Washington, D.C. and from 2008-2010 in New York City.