Eleanor Kitzman will be the state's new insurance commissioner, starting next month. Gov. Rick Perry announced the appointment Wednesday.
Kitzman is from Texas, but she's the outgoing executive director of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board under Gov. Nikki Haley, and the former director of that state's Department of Insurance under then-Gov. Mark Sanford. Here, she was a former clerk for Texas Supreme Court and an attorney with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, a law firm. She's also worked for several insurance companies, and for Goldman Sachs.
She'll replace Mike Geeslin, who's been the commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance since June 2005.
Here's her welcome from Alex Winslow at Texas Watch, a consumer advocacy group that is frequently at odds with TDI and with the governor:
Congratulations to Ms. Kitzman on her appointment. She has a difficult job ahead of her. Texas homeowners are looking to her to fulfill the promise of fair rates and decent coverage for all policyholders. They also expect her to police the insurance industry and guarantee the full, fair, and prompt payment of valid claims. We look forward to helping her achieve these goals.
As the economy continues to struggle, homeowners are facing ever-increasing insurance costs with dwindling protection. They expect their insurance commissioner to look out for them by working toward a balanced insurance marketplace – not a market that is by, for, and of the insurance industry.