WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday that it has hired Mary McLeod to become the agency's new general counsel starting next year.

McLeod — who ran the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State — will succeed the current general counsel, Meredith Fuchs. Fuchs is leaving the CFPB early next year after helping start the agency in 2011.

"I am very pleased to welcome Mary to the Consumer Bureau, as she brings a wealth of experience and tested judgment to our leadership team," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a press release. "Meredith has been an invaluable asset to the Bureau since before we opened our doors, and she will be missed. I am deeply grateful for her contributions to all of her colleagues here and to the American public we serve."

Fuchs had announced earlier this year that she would leave during this past summer but stayed in order to be the acting deputy director of the CFPB for the last five months.

The CFPB said it "will announce next steps on the deputy director position in the coming weeks."

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