James A. Overdahl

Former Chief Economist,
Former Director, Office of Economic Analysis,
Securities and Exchange Commission;
Former Chief Economist,
Commodity Futures Trading Commission

For more information, contact:

  • Stewart Mayhew
  • Greg Leonard
  • Nicole M. Moran
  • Ellen Paulus

or any member of our senior staff.


    • Iowa State University, Ph.D.
    • St. Olaf College, B.A.

James Overdahl is an authority on financial and commodities markets, financial regulation, and securities. His areas of expertise include exchange-traded futures and options, over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, algorithmic trading, risk management, and short selling.

Dr. Overdahl has testified in complex securities litigation, including matters involving alleged insider trading, market manipulation, and false reporting. He has analyzed class certification, loss causation, and damages in numerous securities class actions. In addition, Dr. Overdahl has significant experience assessing price and volume integrity issues in the context of cryptocurrency exchanges.

For more than three decades, Dr. Overdahl served at U.S. regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

As chief economist and director of the Office of Economic Analysis at the SEC, Dr. Overdahl oversaw the Commission’s economic analysis in all areas of policy, rulemaking, and enforcement. He advised on policy and rulemaking related to credit default swaps (CDS) and other OTC derivatives, OTC clearing, algorithmic trading, and securities lending.

Dr. Overdahl has testified before Congress on behalf of the SEC and CFTC. Since leaving government service, he has worked as a consulting expert and appeared before the staff of these agencies on numerous matters.

Widely published, Dr. Overdahl has contributed articles to leading economics and finance journals, including the Journal of Business, the Journal of Law and Economics, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. He is the coauthor of several books on financial derivatives and futures markets, all of which have been reprinted in multiple editions.

Dr. Overdahl has served as an adjunct professor of finance at George Washington University, the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University.