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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced additional leadership changes, naming two former Obama Administration officials as new assistant directors.
The changes include naming Lorelei Salas as the new assistant director for the Office of Supervision Policy, and Eric Halperin as the new assistant director for the Office of Enforcement.
The CFPB supervises banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as many nonbank firms in markets such as credit reporting, debt collection, and mortgages. Through supervision and enforcement actions, the CFPB has returned billions of dollars to consumers and holds companies accountable for their illegal conduct.
“Lorelei Salas and Eric Halperin are both distinguished public servants with deep expertise in consumer protection,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Together, they will be effective watchdogs over the financial marketplace, especially when it comes to stopping repeat offenders.”
In addition to her role leading Supervision Policy, Salas also will serve as acting assistant director for Supervision Examinations. From 2016-21, Salas served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, overseeing hundreds of inspectors, attorneys, and other professionals to protect city residents. Under her leadership, the agency aggressively pursued corporations that employed unlawful, predatory practices to target low-income and immigrant consumers.
Previously, Salas was legal director at Make the Road New York, supervising immigration, housing, and employment legal services programs designed to increase access to justice for immigrants and refugees. She also led the legal department at Catholic Migration Services, supervising the same areas of legal practice.
In 2009, Salas was nominated by President Obama as the Wage and Hour Administrator at the U.S. Department of Labor. She also worked in the New York State Attorney General’s Office in the Litigation and Labor Bureaus, and held multiple senior management positions at the New York State Department of Labor. She is also received the Open Society Foundations’ Leadership in Government fellowship and has served as a Fulbright Specialist with expertise in U.S. consumer and worker protection laws. \
Before her legal career, Salas worked as an auditor investigating companies’ compliance with their own codes of conduct and with federal and state workplace laws. She earned an A.A. from La Guardia Community College, a B.A. from Hunter College, and a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School.
Eric Halperin joins the CFPB after serving in a number of positions in the nonprofit and government sectors. Most recently, he was CEO of Civil Rights Corps. From 2010-14, Halperin served in leadership roles in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, first as Special Counsel for Fair Lending and later as acting deputy assistant attorney general overseeing the division’s fair housing, fair lending, and employment enforcement programs.
While in those roles, he received the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, the DOJ’s highest award for excellence in legal performance, and the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award. He also served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division from 1998-2004.
Halperin has also worked as a senior advisor to Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Program, and as director of the Center for Responsible Lending's Litigation Program and its Washington office. Halperin received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.