Walz appoints new Department of Commerce commissioner

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday appointed Grace Arnold as the new commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Arnold most recently served as the deputy commissioner of insurance at the department, as well as the temporary commissioner.

She replaces Steve Kelley, who was effectively removed from the job by the Minnesota Senate in September.

"Commissioner Grace Arnold is deeply committed to the prosperity and wellbeing of all Minnesotans, and she is an effective, consumer-focused, and steady leader—particularly during one of the most challenging periods in Minnesota history," Walz said. "I am proud to appoint her to this critical role of protecting consumers and ensuring a strong, equitable, and resilient Minnesota. As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger future, Commissioner Arnold is the right leader for Minnesota."

"It is my great honor to lead the dedicated public servants at the Department of Commerce who work every day to create a better Minnesota for generations to come," Arnold said. "Together, we can achieve a 100% clean energy future, protect our seniors from fraud, safeguard consumers, and create a strong and fair marketplace where all Minnesotans can thrive."

The department is the state’s consumer protection agency, overseeing more than 20 regulated industries, including insurance, financial institutions, energy, real estate and telecommunications.