Kathleen A. Birrane was appointed Maryland Insurance Commissioner by Governor Larry Hogan in May 2020.
Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Birrane was a partner in the Insurance Sector and Litigation and Regulatory Practice Group at the global law firm of DLA Piper LLP (US), where her practice focused on insurance and reinsurance transactions, regulatory compliance and related litigation. She represented clients with respect to business-conduct and financial investigations and internal audits; acquisition and asset diligence; corporate reorganizations and restructurings; corporate governance and compliance program design; and the analysis of issues related to the use of technology, predictive modeling/big data, and artificial intelligence in the insurance sector. Commissioner Birrane also represented departments of insurance and receivers in connection with delinquency proceedings.
From 2002 until 2007, Commissioner Birrane served in the Maryland Office of the Attorney General in the statutory position of Principal Counsel to the Maryland Insurance Administration. In that role, she managed all of the legal work of the agency, both in its capacity as regulator and as a unit of state government. During her tenure as Principal Counsel, she served on numerous work groups and task forces of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. After leaving the OAG, and before joining DLA Piper, Commissioner Birrane was a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of portfolio companies owned by major hedge funds that specialized in asset consulting, acquisition, diligence, and the servicing of insurance-linked investments.
Commissioner Birrane began her legal career as a law clerk at the Baltimore law firm Kramon & Graham P.A. which elected her a shareholder in 1995. Her practice at K&G encompassed a broad range of civil, criminal, and regulatory matters, with a focus on complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage disputes, ERISA, and insurance regulatory matters.
In 2019, Governor Hogan appointed Commissioner Birrane to the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors, where she served as chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee before resigning upon her appointment as Commissioner. She is a member of numerous community and nonprofit organizations, including the Baltimore Bar Foundation, Baltimore Area Women in Action, Catholic Charities of Baltimore, and the United Way of Central Maryland where she serves on the Executive Committee of Women United.
Commissioner Birrane was named to the Top 100 Women of Maryland by the Daily Record in 2002 and 2019.
She is a graduate of Maryvale Preparatory School, Notre Dame of Maryland University and the University of Maryland School of Law.