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Regulator Heads To Academia

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Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes says she is resigning next week to become a senior university fellow at Northeastern University.

Burnes will teach a course on regulatory reform at the university. She is a trustee at the university, and she earned her law degree there.

Joseph Murphy, now first deputy commissioner, will serve as acting commissioner, a spokesman for the insurance Massachusetts Division of Insurance says

Gov. Deval Patrick, D, appointed Burnes in 2007.

“Nonnie Burnes is a great friend and was a great insurance commissioner,” Patrick says in a statement. “She brought fresh insight and real courage to one of the central successes of this administration — the introduction of balanced, consumer-oriented competition to our auto insurance market.”

Burnes pushed for deregulation of Massachusetts automobile insurance rates, and out-of-state insurers that had once shunned the market began returning.

Burnes has a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College. Before becoming insurance commissioner, she was a Massachusetts State Superior Court judge.