The New York State Insurance Department has announced a number of senior appointments.

Newly promoted officials with duties focusing on life and health insurance or private-sector life and health experience include Kermitt Brooks, the first deputy superintendent of the department; Susan Donnellan, deputy superintendent for policy and chief ethics officer; and Troy Oechsner, deputy superintendent for health.

Brooks, who oversees the department’s Life Insurance Bureau, previously was deputy attorney general for operations. He also has been a counsel in the law department at MetLife Inc., New York.

Donnellan has been general counsel and deputy superintendent at the New York department since May 2006. Before she joined the department, she was associate general counsel of the Life Insurance Council of New York, Albany, N.Y.

Oechsner has been deputy bureau chief in the New York department’s Health Care Bureau since 2000.

In other personnel news:

- The board of Union Central Life Insurance Company, Cincinnati, a unit of UNIFI Mutual Holding Company, Lincoln, Neb., has elected Gary Huffman president and chief executive officer.

Huffman previously was the company’s president and chief operating officer.

Huffman has assumed the CEO title from John Jacobs, who has been and will continue to be Union Central’s chairman.

Huffman has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Kentucky. He is chairman of LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn.

- National Financial Partners Corp., New York, has hired James Gelder to be chief executive officer of its insurance services subsidiary and executive president of the parent company.

Gelder previously was head of the life insurance business distribution organization for ING U.S. Financial Services, a U.S. unit of ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam.

Gelder, who will be based in Austin, Texas, attended Southern California College and holds the Chartered Life Underwriter professional designation.

Gelder served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Southeast Asia from 1970 through 1971.

- RiverSource Investments L.L.C., a subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial Inc., Minneapolis, has hired Erik Knutzen to fill the newly created post of vice president and director of institutional strategies.

Knutzen previously was director of sales, marketing and client service at Standish Mellon Asset Management Company L.L.C., Boston, a unit of Mellon Financial Corp., Pittsburgh.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s degree in business from Harvard University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst professional designation.

RiverSource also has hired Brian Reed to be regional vice president for institutional sales in the Western United States and Adam Craig to be regional vice president for institutional consultant relations. Craig will handle consultant relations throughout the United States and Canada.

- American International Group Inc., New York, has hired Andrew Kaslow to be senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

Kaslow previously was a managing partner at the QuanStar Group L.L.C., New York, a consulting firm. Before that, he was head of human resources at Vivendi S.A., Paris, an entertainment and telecommunications company.

Kaslow has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree in music from Columbia, and a doctorate in behavioral science from Columbia.

- The Mass Marketing Insurance Institute, Kansas City, Mo., has elected Neiciee Durrence president.

Durrence is vice president of the voluntary practice and product management for Unum, Chattanooga, Tenn.

- Norvax Inc., Chicago, a Web health insurance sales system company, has hired Fred Karutz to be senior vice president of business development.

Karutz previously was corporate vice president of the consumer markets strategic business unit at Health Care Service Corp. Chicago.

Karutz has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in business from the University of Chicago.

- Health Benefits Direct Corp., Radnor, Pa., has hired Derek Apanovitch to be vice president of marketing.

Apanovitch previously worked from Kaplan Higher Education, Chicago.

Apanovitch has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in business from Northwestern University.