Salazar takes NM cabinet post

Marguerite Salazar

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday announced that Marguerite Salazar has accepted a cabinet position with New Mexico Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham as the superintendent of the New Mexico Licensing and Regulation Department.

“Marguerite is one of the most capable leaders I know,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Before leading DORA, she guided our Division of Insurance through some of the most tumultuous times in recent history. Her advocacy for the consumer has left a legacy in our state.”

Salazar served as Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner from August 2013 to July 2017 when she was appointed as DORA’s executive director. During her tenure with the Division of Insurance, she worked tirelessly to launch the Affordable Care Act in Colorado while combating ever-rising health insurance costs. Also during her tenure, the division assisted consumers during the aftermath of historic floods, wildfire and hail; and the division recovered millions of dollars for Colorado consumers while ensuring that the state’s insurance market remained healthy and competitive.

As executive director, Salazar worked with each of DORA’s 10 divisions to ensure they had the support they needed to provide high quality services to the people of Colorado. Whether working on cutting regulatory burden for businesses, partnering with law enforcement to combat crimes like unlicensed practice and human trafficking, supporting initiatives to bring broadband services to greater areas of the state, or increasing outreach and education regarding statewide scams and fraud, as DORA’s Executive Director she promoted a fair and balanced approach to regulation while serving as a champion for Colorado consumers. 

Prior to joining the state, Salazar served as the Region 8 Regional Director for the Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to oversee the implementation of the Affordable Care Act not only in Colorado but also in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, North Dakota and South Dakota. She also led one of the largest Community Health Centers in the country for more than 25 years.

“It’s been a distinct honor and pleasure to serve under Governor Hickenlooper, who has taught me what a great leader should be,” said Salazar. “While I will miss my colleagues at DORA, I look forward to this new challenge and to bring to New Mexico the types of regulatory successes we’ve achieved here in Colorado.”

Salazar will remain part of the Hickenlooper Administration until the term ends on Jan. 8, 2019.