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News from the New York State Governor

For Immediate Release: August 14, 2009
Contact: Marissa Shorenstein | | 518.474.8418 | 212.681.4640


Governor David A. Paterson today announced the appointments of James J. Wrynn to serve as New York State Superintendent of Insurance and Wendy Saunders to serve as Deputy Secretary for Health, Medicaid and Oversight. The Governor also announced the appointments of Kristin Proud to serve as Deputy Secretary for Human Services, Technology and Operations and Senior Advisor to the Office of Taxpayer Accountability, and Mark Leinung to serve as Deputy Director for State Operations.

“I welcome Jim to his new position within my Administration. As an experienced insurance lawyer with expansive involvement in government, I am confident that he will serve both the Department and State well,” Governor Paterson said. “I thank Acting Superintendent Kermitt Brooks for his leadership and am pleased that he will continue to work with the State in the Department of Insurance as First Deputy Superintendent, assisting Jim through the transition and in the months ahead.

“I also welcome Wendy to the Executive Chamber from the Department of Health, where she has served New York State with distinction. Her talent and impressive career will be instrumental in the coming months as we address health issues and policy,” the Governor added. “I look forward to working with Wendy, as well as with Kristin and Mark, who will continue their critical work within my Administration in their new roles.”

James J. Wrynn is the Executive Director of the New York State Insurance Fund. He is a founding partner of MacKay, Wrynn & Brady LLP, where he has litigated cases focused on insurance issues and claims on behalf of major companies, their policyholders, municipalities, and public authorities. Prior to that, Mr. Wrynn worked from 1982 to 1992 as a trial attorney with McCormick, Dunne & Foley, specializing in civil trials and appellate practice related to professional malpractice, subrogation, property and casualty coverage disputes, liabilities and insurance. His professional career has provided considerable experience in the areas of insurance, accounting and tax issues.

Mr. Wrynn is admitted to the Federal and State Courts in both New York and New Jersey, and the United State Supreme Court. He has received an Associates in Risk Management and an Associates in Captive Insurance. He is a member of the New York and New Jersey State Bar association, has served on the New York City Economic Development Corporation and is an active participant in his community. Mr. Wrynn is a graduate of St. John’s University College of Business Administration and received his juris doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law.

Effective August 20, 2009, Mr. Wrynn will begin to serve as Superintendent-designate and assume the permanent appointment pending Senate confirmation.

As Superintendent of the Department of Insurance, Mr. Wrynn’s salary will be $127,000.

Wendy Saunders has served as Executive Deputy Commissioner for the New York State Department of Health since April 2007. Ms. Saunders is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Department, policy coordination and strategic planning. She joined the Department in February 2007 to head the Office of the Director of Governmental Affairs and Strategic Planning. Prior to that appointment, Ms. Saunders was Director of Government Relations at the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. She also represented numerous non-profit health and human services organizations at the law firm Malkin & Ross.

Her prior public service includes working in legislative offices, including the New York State Assembly Program and Counsel’s Office, the Washington State Senate Committee on Health and Long-Term Care and New York State Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried’s office. Ms. Saunders is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton.

As Deputy Secretary for Health, Medicaid and Oversight, Ms. Saunders’ salary will be $165,168. This position does not require Senate confirmation.

Kristin Proud has served as Deputy Director of State Operations since her appointment in November 2007. In that role, she has worked with the Director of State Operations and the Deputy Secretaries to coordinate the activities of the State’s more than 80 agencies and authorities. Prior to that, she served from January 2007 as the Director of Health and Human Services.

Ms. Proud was the Senior Director of Community Relations and Planned Giving for the Center for Disability Services, the largest provider of comprehensive services for individuals with disabilities in the Capital Region. Before joining the staff of the Center for Disability Services, Ms. Proud spent 14 years in the New York State Assembly, during which time she worked for three Speakers of the Assembly. Ms. Proud was the Deputy Secretary of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and also served as the principal staff advisor to the Speaker and the Assembly Majority on issues related to health and human services. She was responsible for the development and implementation of budget and fiscal processes, including economic forecasts, revenue projections and expenditures proposals, and State budget negotiations for the Assembly Majority.

Ms. Proud is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany.

As Deputy Secretary for Human Services, Technology and Operations and Senior Advisor to the Office of Taxpayer Accountability, Ms. Proud’s salary will be $165,000. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Mark Leinung has served as Assistant Secretary for Education providing advice and helping implement education policy since April 2008. His duties cover a range of issues from pre-k to higher education, special education, adult education, workforce development, school aid, libraries and museums, public broadcasting, and professional licensing. Prior to this position, Mark served from January 2007 as Policy Director to then-Lieutenant Governor Paterson. For most of his professional career, Mr. Leinung worked in the New York State Senate. He was Deputy Secretary to the Senate Minority Leader from 2005 to 2006 and Program Director for the Minority Leader from 1996 to 2004. Prior to that, he was Deputy Program Director from 1988 to 1995 and a Program Analyst from 1980 to 1987 for the Senate minority.

Mr. Leinung began his career in 1979 as a legislative representative for the New York Educators Association. He is a graduate of Upsala College and earned his Masters in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany.

As Deputy Director for State Operations, Mr. Leinung’s salary will be $142,000. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.


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New York State | Executive Chamber | | 212.681.4640 | 518.474.8418

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