Gensler was the Treasury undersecretary from 1991-2001 and assistant Treasury secretary from 1997-1999 under former President Bill Clinton, Wikipedia said.
He also was a senior adviser for Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York during her run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton is Obama's designate for U.S. secretary of state.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has a jurisdiction of more than $5 trillion in trades.
Gensler spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs, becoming the head of Goldman's fixed income and currency trading operation in Tokyo, and eventually becoming the company's co-head of finance.
As the Treasury Department's undersecretary for domestic finance, Gensler oversaw policies in areas of U.S. financial markets, debt management, financial services and community development.
Gensler and Greg Baer co-authored "The Great Mutual Fund Trap," which argues active trading and investing is an inefficient strategy for individual investors, and they should stick with index and exchange traded funds, the online encyclopedia said. Gensler is on the board of for-profit university Strayer Education Inc.
Gensler has three daughters. His wife, Francesca Danieli, died of breast cancer in June 2006.