Former CT insurance official Dowling to lead Illinois agency

Anne Melissa Dowling 2012 UmaAnne Melissa Dowling, a former top official in Connecticut’s insurance department, has been picked to lead the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the appointment Friday. Dowling said she hadn’t sought the position, but got a call from Rauner’s office about the job.

“As I met the people out there and looked at what they want to do, I was enchanted,” she said.

Dowling spent most of her career in the private sector, holding leadership posts at MassMutual, Connecticut Mutual and Travelers, before becoming deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department in 2011. She led the department’s health care initiatives and ran the agency’s day-to-day operations while then-Commissioner Thomas B. Leonardi traveled extensively. She became acting commissioner when Leonardi stepped down for a private-sector job late last year.

Dowling had been considered a potential choice to become commissioner, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy selected Katie Wade, a former Cigna lobbyist. Dowling left the insurance department soon after.

In an interview Monday, she praised the staff of the Connecticut Insurance Department and said she hoped to draw on what she learned from them in the new job.