The WFE's Women Leaders 2024 - Julie Bauer, Chief External Relations Officer of Options Clearing Corporation

By: The WFE Focus Team Mar 2024

Name: Julie Bauer

Organisation: Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)
Job Title: Chief External Relations Officer


1. Brief job description 

Julie Bauer is the chief external relations officer at OCC and oversees Government Relations, Communications, and Investor Education departments. As Chief External Relations Officer she reports directly to the CEO and is a member of the Management Committee

2. Short biography

Bauer is Chief External Relations Officer at OCC. In this role, she manages OCC's interactions with congressional and regulatory policymakers and leads the advocacy efforts of the U.S. Securities Markets Coalition on behalf of the listed options industry. She also oversees OCC’s internal and external communications, as well as OCC’s investor education programs including The Options Industry Council (OIC), an industry resource managed by OCC that provides education content about the benefits and risks of exchange-listed options to market participants. Bauer joined OCC in September 2016.

Prior to joining OCC, Bauer was Senior Vice President, Government Relations for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), where she spent nine years. She previously had a 17-year career with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), ultimately serving as Vice President for Government Relations and heading the CBOT's Washington, D.C., office.

Bauer is a graduate of the University of Virginia and received her master's degree in American government from Georgetown University.

Bauer is interested in the theatre and traveling.

3. What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2023?

Bauer’s highlights include her critical involvement in strategic issues for OCC, including the rebuild of OCC’s core systems and spearheading an enhanced engagement program with OCC’s three federal regulators (SEC, CFTC, Federal Reserve) and resolution authority (FDIC). Another highlight was successfully managing the transition to a new CEO and COO.


4. Tell us about a few of your key achievements? 

Bauer is proud that she has reached the senior management level in the company where she can have the most impact on helping to implement enterprise-wide goals. More importantly, she works hard to mentor and develop fellow employees and friends, particularly those from underrepresented groups. She was the first Chair of OCC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and is an advocate for an inclusive work culture. She is also very involved in OCC’s Charitable Giving program and is an advisor to the charity, Shoes that Fit. She has two teenage boys and has involved them in giving back to the community.

5. Who and what inspires you to achieve your professional success? 

Bauer has been inspired by the men and women who came before her, is grateful for what she has achieved, and is committed to giving back.


6. How have you overcome setbacks, and what have you learned from adversity? 

The advice she gives is to fight hard for what is right, choose your battles and either celebrate your victory or let it go. This gives you the energy to fight another day. She also counsels on “taking the win” and not dwelling on the minutiae of difficulties experienced along the way.

7. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions? What is the biggest takeaway you want to leave with the reader? 

Bauer’s leadership philosophy is to support those who support you. She works hard, has high standards, but is also so giving and compassionate. She not only considers her own achievement but is also considerate of what is best for employees on her team, her direct reports and the company as a whole. Bauer recognizes that as a leader, there are a lot of others, former coworkers, friends, and current colleagues who have helped her reach her goals and to get to the level she is at today. Bauer gives back to others by mentoring numerous staff across the organization, as well as other members of the senior management team. In the end, the success of her team has helped define Bauer’s success. Bauer passes this success on to her fellow co-workers, many of whom are close friends of hers to this day.


The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.