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Director, State Relations
American International Group Inc.
Cecilia Norat began her career in 1986 as deputy executive director for the New York State Insurance Fund until she joined AIG in 1996 as senior vp. She assumed her current position in 1999, leading a team responsible for tracking and analyzing proposed changes to insurance regulations and legislation in all 50 states.
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo has been the most influential person in Ms. Norat’s career because he gave her the opportunity to join the New York State Insurance Fund as deputy executive director in 1986 after she graduated from Fordham University Law School that year. "That was the biggest boost to my career."
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: Women who want to be in the insurance industry should make sure they get a thorough education. When they are considering their path in the industry, they should consider joining the business side because the true leaders of the industry will always come from the business side.
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "I would like to see (the industry) move a little faster in the development of women in business and minorities in business. But I can’t really criticize because I think it’s doing as good a job as most other industries."
Business Insurance's report on "Women to Watch" is our attempt to identify some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.