John Coughlan

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John Coughlan

Chief Data Scientist

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Division of Data

John Coughlan is the Chief Data Scientist at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a federal agency that regulates the derivatives markets. He was named to this position in December 2023, becoming the first person to hold this role at the CFTC.

As the Chief Data Scientist, Coughlan is responsible for advancing data science expertise and expanding the use of artificial intelligence to more effectively oversee the derivatives markets and meet the CFTC’s own regulatory requirements. He works closely with the CDO and Director of the Division of Data, Ted Kaouk, who leads the data integration initiatives and facilitates informed policy decisions.

Before becoming the Chief Data Scientist, Coughlan served at the CFTC for eight years in various data science and analytical roles, using data to address the CFTC’s regulatory issues. He was an analyst in the Division of Market Oversight, where he built the CFTC’s first machine learning model to detect anomalies in regulatory transactions data. He also led studies of emerging risks in derivatives markets with a special focus on high frequency trading and market liquidity issues. Coughlan began his CFTC career in the Market Participants Division as a data and risk analyst focused on swap dealer risk management.

Prior to joining the CFTC, Coughlan worked as a Sr. Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. He also provided data analysis and modeling services to various federal agencies including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Coughlan received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University.

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