Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have elected a slate of three new officers in interim elections held during the 2004 NAIC Fall National Meeting. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken is the new NAIC president, Oregon Insurance Administrator Joel Ario the vice president, and Maine Insurance Superintendent Alessandro Iuppa will serve as secretary-treasurer. All three take office immediately.
“This is an incredibly important and exciting time for the NAIC and all state regulators, so I am honored that the members have chosen to support me in this new role,” Koken said. “We need to position ourselves to adapt to an ever-changing environment while continuing to do what we do best: working together for insurance consumers across the country.”
The interim elections were held after the recent resignation of Ernst Csiszar, former South Carolina director of insurance and president of the NAIC on Aug. 18. Just two weeks later, Jim Poolman, vice president and commissioner of insurance for North Dakota, who was next in line to become president of the association, submitted his resignation after deciding not to seek the NAIC presidency.
Koken has been active in NAIC initiatives since her appointment as commissioner in 1997. She currently serves on several key NAIC committees, including the Internal Administration (EX1) Subcommittee, the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committee, the Financial Condition Committee, the Consumer Protections Working Group, the Government Affairs Task Force and the Speed to Market Task Force. She also is secretary of the NAIC’s Northeastern Zone and is a board member of the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). Koken’s tenure as Pennsylvania insurance commissioner began in August 1997, when former Gov. Tom Ridge appointed her acting commissioner. The Pennsylvania Senate confirmed Koken in December 1997, in February 1999, and in April 2003. Ms. Koken’s commitment to the industry and its consumers has spanned her entire professional career. Prior to her state service, she was vice president, general counsel and secretary for a major life insurer.
Ario, who previously served as NAIC secretary-treasurer, has been the insurance administrator in Oregon since 2000. He currently serves on the Internal Administration (EX1) Subcommittee and chairs the NAIC’s Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committee, and has been a leading national voice for strengthening state market regulation programs by enhancing uniformity and collaboration, while supporting state diversity when it comes to matters of local concern.
Ario also serves as president and board chair for the NAIC’s affiliate, the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). He has been with the Oregon Insurance Division since 1995 and previously served as a public policy analyst and executive director in the non-profit sector. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, Harvard Divinity School and St. Olaf College.
Iuppa was appointed Maine’s superintendent of insurance in 1998 and was re-appointed to a second term in March 2004. He is an active participant in insurance issues at both the national and international levels, currently serving as chair of NAIC’s Northeastern Zone and chair of the NAIC’s Reinsurance Task Force. He is vice chair of the Capital Adequacy Task Force and a member of the Internal Administration (EX1) Subcommittee and the Government Affairs Task Force, among others. He has also been designated by the NAIC to represent the United States at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), where he serves as a member of the Executive, Technical, and Reinsurance committees. During the past several years he has made numerous presentations on insurance matters in China, India, South Africa, Japan, and Europe on behalf of the NAIC, IAIS, and OECD. Prior to joining the Maine Bureau of Insurance, Iuppa provided consulting services to state insurance departments for the rehabilitation of financially impaired insurance companies. From 1986 to 1991, he was with the state of Nevada, where he served as deputy commissioner and commissioner of insurance.