CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the promotion of Dean Martinez to Deputy Governor for the state of Illinois. Martinez, the son of Cuban immigrants, is the first Latino Deputy Governor in Illinois history. He will join Deputy Governors Bob Greenlee and Louanner Peters to steer key initiatives of the Governor.
In his new role, Martinez will oversee the State’s economic development, infrastructure, business regulation and environmental agencies, and will be a close advisor to the Governor on policies and initiatives to create jobs, invest in infrastructure, stimulate the Illinois economy and advance the Governor’s environmental agenda.
“I am very happy to have Dean on board. As the son of immigrants he brings a diverse background to my Administration and will be a voice for Latinos across the state. He was instilled with the concepts of hard work and commitment from an early age and he has used those virtues to tackle a number of important issues on behalf of Illinois families. Most recently, he has helped me to launch the Homeowner Assistance Initiative, which offers Illinois families professional mortgage counseling and access to affordable 30-year fixed-rate mortgages,” said Governor Blagojevich. “As Deputy Governor I have every belief that he will help me to make sure that Illinois’ economy prospers, families are protected, people have jobs, and that Illinois continues to be a leader on environmental issues such as climate change.”
Previously, Martinez was the Governor’s Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and helped the Governor to advance his Regulatory Reform Initiative that protects consumers while making Illinois a more business friendly state. It has streamlined licensing and now offers online renewals and license look-up features on its website.
“I thank Governor Blagojevich for his confidence in my work and I look forward to continuing to get things done in Illinois – making sure people have jobs and can pay their bills, ensuring that our economy bounces back and making sure we maintain a strong environmental record. I know there will be challenges ahead, but I look forward to tackling them to make sure the families and businesses statewide are taken care of in the coming years,” said Martinez.
Prior his position as Secretary of IDFPR, Martinez served as Chief of Legislative Affairs and Legal Counsel to the Department of Financial Institutions. While in that capacity, he was detailed to the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs, where he was responsible for financial and law enforcement related legislation. In this role, Martinez wrote the Governor’s anti-dropout initiative known as the GRADS Initiative (Getting Results Achieving Dreams and Success). The program’s focus is on lowering the rising high school dropout rate in Illinois.
Martinez started his career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Appellate Division where he argued before the Illinois Appellate Court. He was promoted to the Felony Narcotics Division where he served the citizens of Illinois by prosecuting persons accused of narcotics violations.
The Governor also announced today that Michael McRaith will take over as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and will oversee the agency’s four sections including the Division of Banking, Division of Financial Institutions, Division of Insurance and Division of Professional Regulation.
As Secretary, McRaith will continue to carry out the issues important to the Governor including making sure people throughout the state take steps to maintain a financially secure quality of life and ensuring that the financial professionals and institutions Illinoisans rely on are appropriately licensed and in good standing with the State of Illinois.
“Over the last three years, McRaith has dealt with complicated financial and commercial issues, which will be a tremendous asset in his new role as Secretary of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation,” said Governor Blagojevich. “I am proud of the progress we’ve had in the Senior Health Insurance Program, which he played a key role in, and I know that in his new role McRaith will continue to make sure Illinois citizen and provided for.”
Prior to taking over as IDFPR Secretary, McRaith was the director of the Illinois Division of Insurance, within IDFPR and he oversaw the regulation of the insurance industry. Before joining the Administration, McRaith was an attorney with 15 years of legal experience who practiced commercial litigation with an emphasis on legal matters involving regulated institutions including the insurance industry.
“I am greatly excited by this opportunity. During these tumultuous times, Governor Blagojevich and the State are taking an active role in helping individuals and families secure their financial state and it will be a privilege to help him achieve his goals for the people of our state,” said McRaith.
McRaith lives in Chicago and is a member of the boards of directors of the Chicago Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. He is also affiliated with the American Bar Association, Litigation Section and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association.
McRaith earned a law degree at Loyola University School of Law in 1990 and received a B.A. from Indiana University in 1986.