NASCA Announces Pickens as an Alternate on its Executive Committee

Thursday, November 18, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky – The National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) announced the election of Mary Jane Pickens as an Alternate on its Executive Committee.

Pickens was appointed to serve as Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Administration on January 1, 2015. On that same date, she also began leading the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management (“BRIM”) as Executive Director and continues to hold both roles.

As Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Administration, Pickens assists in the operation of major state agencies that administer a variety of programs to serve the state of West Virginia, including personnel management, purchasing, facilities management, health and liability insurance, real estate, information technology, fleet operations, and indigent defense.

In her role as Executive Director of BRIM, Pickens oversees the principal activities of the Claim, Loss Control, Underwriting, Finance, and Information Technology Departments of BRIM. Pickens’ addition to the NASCA Executive Committee will serve the association well, as Pickens brings her vast state government leadership experience and expertise with over twenty years in public service.

Pickens has intermittently served as Acting Secretary for the Department of Administration in addition to her role at BRIM. Pickens previously served as the Acting Secretary of Administration from February 2016 to January 2017, and again in 2021. Pickens most recently served as Acting Secretary from mid-September 2021 to October 31, 2021.

Pickens’ career in public service began in 2001 when she served as a staff attorney for the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner. She then served as General Counsel to the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner before returning to private legal practice in 2011, at which time she focused her private practice in governmental affairs and regulatory issues.

Pickens returned to private practice to join Spilman, Thomas & Battle, a private law firm based in West Virginia with numerous offices across the country. At Spilman, she worked in the Government Relations and Regulatory Compliance Practice Group and primarily represented clients in the insurance industry for whom she provided lobbying services and served as counsel to advise in government relations matters. In addition, Pickens provided legal services relating to regulatory compliance issues and served as General Counsel for the West Virginia Life and Health Guaranty Association. Pickens returned to public service in 2015, at which time she was concurrently appointed and selected for the two roles she currently holds.

A native of West Virginia, Pickens is a graduate of West Virginia University and the Ohio Northern University College of Law, where she earned a juris doctorate in 1985. Pickens also serves as a Board Member of Kids’ Chance, a charitable organization focused on providing funds for higher education scholarships to children facing a loss of parental income after sustaining a serious workplace injury or upon the death of a parent due to an accident in the workplace.

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