ST. PAUL, MN (STL.News) Governor Tim Walz appointed Grace Arnold as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Arnold’s strong experience in health care and insurance policy most recently includes her service as Deputy Commissioner of Insurance at the Department of Commerce as well as Temporary Commissioner. This appointment follows an application review and interview process beginning with a call for applications in January. Arnold replaces Steve Kelley as Commissioner for a term beginning today.
“Commissioner Grace Arnold is deeply committed to the prosperity and wellbeing of all Minnesotans, and she is an effective, consumer-focused, and steady leader—particularly during one of the most challenging periods in Minnesota history,” said Governor Walz. “I am proud to appoint her to this critical role of protecting consumers and ensuring a strong, equitable, and resilient Minnesota. As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger future, Commissioner Arnold is the right leader for Minnesota.”
“Along with keeping the health insurance market fair and keeping our seniors protected from fraud, the Department of Commerce plays a critical role in eliminating structural equity barriers in the banking and insurance industries, as well as advancing a clean energy future for our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “I am excited for Commissioner Grace Arnold’s leadership of the Department of Commerce, because I know her expertise and values will lead to a stronger and more equitable Minnesota.”
“It is my great honor to lead the dedicated public servants at the Department of Commerce who work every day to create a better Minnesota for generations to come,” said Commissioner Arnold. “Together, we can achieve a 100% clean energy future, protect our seniors from fraud, safeguard consumers, and create a strong and fair marketplace where all Minnesotans can thrive.”
The Department of Commerce is the state’s consumer protection agency. Commerce oversees more than 20 regulated industries, including insurance, financial institutions, energy, real estate, and telecommunications, investigates consumer complaints on fraud, and ensures the accuracy of commercial and grocery store scales and gasoline pumps across the state.
About Grace Arnold
Commissioner Grace Arnold leads the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
As overseer of state industries that provide financial security to Minnesotans and energy policy in Minnesota, Commissioner Arnold is committed to ensuring Commerce’s regulated markets are fair and accessible to all Minnesotans, and that Minnesota is a leader in creating a clean energy economy.
Commissioner Arnold was appointed by Governor Walz on April 15, 2021. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance for the Commerce Department. In that role, she oversaw the life insurance, health insurance, and property and casualty insurance markets in Minnesota, ensuring that Minnesotans’ insurance complies with Minnesota law and that insurance companies are financially strong.
Commissioner Arnold spent nearly a decade at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services where she helped lead the technology turnaround of healthcare.gov and led policy development during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Before joining the Department, Commissioner Arnold led product development for individual and family plans at Bright Health, a Minneapolis-based health insurer. She has a master’s degree from George Washington University and holds an undergraduate degree from Macalester College.
Commissioner Arnold lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two young kids.