Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) appointed Kathleen A. Birrane as the state’s insurance commissioner ― a position her father once held.
Birrane replaces Al Redmer, who Hogan appointed as the executive director of the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund. Redmer, a former Baltimore County delegate, had been head of the insurance commission since January 2015. He also headed the agency from June 2003 to late 2005.
Birrane is former principal counsel to the Maryland Insurance Administration.
“Kathleen has the unique advantage of being able to step into this role with virtually no learning curve, and will be vital in helping the Maryland Insurance Administration navigate legal matters amidst this challenging economic climate,” Hogan said in a statement.
Since 2012, Birrane has worked at the law firm DLA Piper, where she is currently a partner focused on insurance and regulatory matters, including criminal investigations related to insurance.
Birrane is a graduate of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and holds a law degree from the University of Maryland.
In March, Birrane was confirmed to a four-year term on the University of Maryland Medical System Board, which is rebuilding from a self-dealing scandal involving former board members including Catherine E. Pugh, the ex-Baltimore mayor. Birrane and a handful of other UMMS appointees attracted some dissent during the Maryland Senate’s confirmation process, and three senators voted against her appointment to the board.
Her father, Edward J. Birrane Jr., was Maryland’s insurance commissioner from 1976 to 1982, and was a well-known expert on insurance issues, regularly testifying before the General Assembly and Congress.
Redmer begins his new job heading the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund on May 18.
He replaces Mark McCurdy, who is retiring after a 38-year career with the fund, which was created by the state in 1972 to offer auto insurance to drivers who could not get it from standard carriers.
“Al Redmer has been a valued member of our administration since 2015, and I am confident that he will continue to serve the citizens of Maryland admirably in his new role,” Hogan said in a statement.