Currently a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins, Mendez holds a law degree from Harvard and previously worked at several other top firms including Skadden Arps and White & Case.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mendez would lead the Securities Investor Protection Corp, a non-profit corporation which has been involved in liquidations in high-profile cases such as the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the fallout from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
Mendez will face intense scrutiny in the U.S. Senate, where many lawmakers are pressing the SIPC to be more sympathetic to investors.
SIPC has come under fire by lawmakers from both parties, after the organization declined to launch a court proceeding to help the victims of Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme try to recover some of their losses.
SIPC argued the victims could not file claims because they did not meet the legal definition of "customer" under the law.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees SIPC, took SIPC to court to try and force it to allow victims to file claims, but SIPC prevailed in a U.S. appeals court earlier this year.
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