Alan McClain has been appointed as the state’s new insurance commissioner.

“Alan has been a stalwart leader within Workforce Services and Rehabilitation Services, and he will be equally vigorous and steadfast as insurance commissioner,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a news release announcing the appointment.

McClain, a former Monticello resident, has served as commissioner of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services within the Department of Commerce since 2015. In that role, he administered the day-to-day operations of ARS, which administers the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

He began his career in state government in 1992 with the Arkansas Insurance Department after working with Sedgwick Insurance Group. He worked for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission for 13 years and was the CEO of that Commission for almost nine years.

McClain has also served on the Arkansas Workforce Development Board and the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. He is a past president of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation.

He holds an undergraduate degree from Hendrix College and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Hutchinson appointed McClain state Insurance Commissioner after consulting with Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston who said McClain is taking the job at a time of change in the insurance industry.

“I’ve been privileged to work more closely with Workforce Services and its programs in recent months,” Preston said. “I know firsthand Alan has the experience and a perspective that will benefit the Insurance Commission during a time when the changes in the industry will require steady leadership.”

The Insurance Department was one of 42 executive-level state agencies that was realigned as part of Hutchinson’s transformation plan, which reduced the number of cabinet-level agencies to 15. Under the initiative, the Insurance Department became part of the Department of Commerce.

“By folding the insurance department into the Department of Commerce, we have demonstrated that sister agencies can function better as a group than independently,” Hutchinson said.

The Insurance Department enforces state insurance law and regulations, conducts examinations and prosecutes insurance fraud while protecting consumers.

McClain replaces Allen Kerr who resigned to pursue opportunities in the private sector.