March 2, 2018


Commissioner Donelon Names Chief Deputy and New Deputy of Public Affairs

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced today his appointment of Nicholas “Nick” Lorusso as Chief Deputy of the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) and Denise Dunckel as the Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs. As Chief Deputy, Lorusso will manage operations of the agency as well as serve as liaison on legislative issues.

“Nick’s history of military service as well as his experience in state government were a big draw in my decision to recruit him,” said Commissioner Donelon. “His legal background and extensive public service will be strong assets to us here at the LDI and to the policyholders of Louisiana whom we serve.”

Lorusso is a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 94 in Orleans Parish. While in the Legislature, he served on the Committees for Insurance and Appropriations, as well as Chairman of the Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. Lorusso has also served as a board member of the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana. He is a veteran of the United States Army and currently serves as a Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Most recently he has worked in private practice. Lorusso received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of New Orleans, a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College and his Juris Doctorate from the Louisiana State University Law Center.

Lorusso succeeds Noble Ellington who now serves in the Administration of Governor John Bel Edwards. The appointment takes effect immediately. To download photos, click here and here.

Dunckel most recently was the Vice President of Public Affairs at the Beer Institute in Washington, D.C. In that role, she was responsible for developing and executing the public affairs and communications strategy for the Institute. In addition to working in corporate communications, Dunckel was previously in management roles at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She is a graduate of Texas Christian University.

Donelon pointed to Dunckel’s extensive communications background in his decision to appoint her Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Denise’s broad experience at the national level joining us in this role,” said Commissioner Donelon. “She has spearheaded a number of public awareness campaigns, worked with a variety of stakeholders and is eager to bring her expertise to the LDI. We are excited to have her onboard.”    

Dunckel is assuming the position from Ileana Ledet who has served in the position since in 2012. Duckel’s appointment takes effect March 5.

About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting