White House Policy Advisor
and former Acting Administrator
US Small Business Administration
Chris Pilkerton serves as a White House Policy Advisor and former Acting Administrator of the US Small Business Administration. He is also the current Executive Director of the White House Opportunity Now initiative, a government-wide program which supports economic empowerment for underserved communities. In his role as SBA Acting Administrator, he served as a member of the President’s Cabinet, advocating on behalf of America’s 30 million small businesses. During his time at the SBA, he was also the agency’s General Counsel, overseeing legal operations across all of its financial programs. Prior to his time with the SBA, Pilkerton was a compliance director at JP Morgan Chase, advising both the business and corporate functions on matters related to enterprise compliance risk and regulatory change management. While there, Pilkerton was named one of the “Heroes of the Fortune 500” by Fortune Magazine, in recognition of his efforts in support of orphans in Liberia impacted by ebola.
Pilkerton began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, working as a trial lawyer in both the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and the Office of Money Laundering and Tax Crimes. He later went on to become Senior Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, investigating numerous cases related to insider trading and accounting fraud. Pilkerton has since been a partner in two law firms, representing clients in various transactions and regulatory matters, as well as providing general counsel services to early stage companies and clients in the financial services industry. He has served on the Board of Directors of NASDAQ Futures, Inc. and was the Associate Director of the Law and Public Policy Program at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, where he still teaches a course on enterprise risk management and financial controls.
Pilkerton was a Fulbright Teaching Scholar in Poland and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He earned his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University, and a certificate in data analytics from Cornell University’s College of Business. Pilkerton also serves in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.