WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission has named George S. Canellos as acting director of enforcement, effective Feb. 8.

David P. Bergers, director of the SEC’s Boston office, will succeed Canellos as acting deputy director of enforcement, the SEC said Thursday in a release.

Canellos, 48, replaces SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami, who in mid-January announced his intention to leave his post.

Canellos, who has been deputy director of the enforcement division since June 2012, also worked three years as director of the SEC’s New York office, overseeing 400 enforcement attorneys, accountants, investigators and compliance examiners.

Earlier, Canellos worked more than six years as a litigation partner at law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

In 1994 he became assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He also was chief of the major crimes unit, senior trial counsel on the securities and commodities fraud task force and deputy chief appellate attorney in that district.

Before that, Canellos worked as litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

He graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School.

Bergers, 45, who also starts Feb. 8, has headed the Boston office since 2006 and worked in various enforcement positions at the SEC from 1998 to 2001.

Bergers practiced law at firms in Philadelphia and Boston and was vice president and assistant general counsel of a regional broker-dealer firm and an affiliated investment advisor in Boston.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Nazarene College and a law degree from Yale Law School.

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