CHICAGO — A high-profile federal prosecutor who helped convict a former Illinois governor of corruption has been named the new director for the Securities and Exchange Commission's nine-state region based out of Chicago.

The agency that regulates the securities sector and enforces securities laws announced Joel R. Levin's appointment in a Thursday statement. He'll start with the SEC next month and oversee hundreds of employees in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Levin has most recently worked as the first assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. attorney's office for northern Illinois in Chicago. He served for more than six months last year as acting U.S. attorney for that office.

Levin was among the prosecutors who in 2006 secured guilty verdicts at the trial of ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan.