Curriculum Vitae - Umpire, Arbitrator & Expert Witness


2005 to 2008 - Swiss Re America  & Swiss Re Holding Corporation   

Senior Vice President & Senior Regulatory Counsel

Responsible for regulatory policy for the Americas and selected international regulatory issues and relationships 

1991 to 2005 - Reinsurance Association of America  (RAA)

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Responsibility for developing & implementing policy at the state, federal and international levels; managing amicus briefs and other RAA litigation; providing comprehensive analysis to members on legal and regulatory issues affecting the reinsurance industry  

1986 to 1991 - Office of Illinois Special Deputy Receiver

Vice President & Chief General Counsel  

Responsibility for all in-house legal operations and managed outside counsel & litigation for all receivership estates

1981 to 1986 - Illinois Dept. of Corrections

Deputy Chief Legal Counsel

Tried cases as Special Assistant Attorney General including major constitutional issues in state and federal courts; supervised litigation filed against the Department and the Governor; and managed legal issues for Illinois prison system. Lead counsel in a successful 10-week trial in Federal District Court with major national significance in the constitutional law area

1980 to 1981 - Illinois Attorney General 

Assistant Attorney General

Tried cases representing Illinois Dept of Corrections

For a full CV click here.

Professional Positions / Appointments

January 2008 to October 2008 - ACLI Chair, IAIS Life Insurer’s Task Force

2005 to 2008 - Elected Chair, NAIC Reinsurance Task Force Interested Persons

2005 to 2008 - Swiss Re International Representative to IAIS on behalf of the Swiss Re Group

2003 to 2008 - Appointed member of Reinsurance Transparency Group comprised of regulators and selected reinsurance industry representatives reporting to G7+ Financial Ministers (Financial Stability Forum)

2004 - Founder of AIRROC s part of RAA strategic planning project

2004 to 2008 - Ex officio member of the ABA’s Task Force on Federal Involvement in Insurance Regulation Modernization

2000 to 2008 - Active Industry Observer of IAIS on behalf of RAA & Swiss Re

1997 to 2004 - Organizer & founding member of the Reinsurance Dispute Resolution Task Force which developed the nation’s first arbitration procedures for the reinsurance industry

1999 - Member of three-person delegation representing the U.S. Department of Commerce working with Brazil’s insurance regulator, SUSEP, and the Brazil Ministry of Finance in an effort to privatize Brazil’s reinsurance industry and create a modern insurance receivership system

1996 to 1998 - Member of nine-person committee appointed by the Interstate Insurance Receivership Compact Commission to draft model interstate compact law, resulting in the Uniform Receivership Law (URL)

1994 - One of the founders of ARIAS U.S., representing the reinsurance industry

1992 to 1995 - Member of the American Bar Association’s Insolvency Task Force which recommended improvements to the U.S. receivership process and drafted comprehensive legislation as part of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

1986 to 2008 - Active participant & chair of NAIC committees & subcommittees, on behalf of Illinois Office of the Special Deputy Receiver, RAA & Swiss Re

1985 to 2005 - Moot Court Trial Judge for law school competitions at John Marshall Law School & Loyola University Law School. Appellate justice for the American Bar Association’s interstate regional moot court competition in the District of Columbia

Umpire / Arbitrator Appointments

Appointed as an Umpire or Arbitrator in 19 arbitrations.

Expert Witness Engagements

Retained as an expert witness on 14 occasions, Debra has testified in both State and Federal courts as well as confidential arbitration proceedings. Subject matter includes: setoff, direct actions, cut-throughs, finite re, comparison of U.S. and foreign receivership laws, fraudulent redomestication, interpretation of reinsurance contracts, custom & practice in the reinsurance industry, and priority of claims in receivership.

Speaking Engagements

Guest speaker throughout the U.S. and abroad, including: Federation Francaise Des Societes D’Assurances (Paris); IAIS (China, Denmark, South Africa, Norway, Singapore): NAIC; Lloyd's of London (London); LIRMA (London); SUSEP (Brazil); Strain; RAA; Chaired Mealey's Reinsurance Roundtable (3 years); Excess Surplus Lines Assoc; Society of Financial Examiners; American Bar Assoc; Vermont Captives; Assoc of CA Insurers; IL CPA Society; DJ Freeman 8th Annual London Market Seminar (London); Kendall Freeman U.S. Reinsurance Conference (Co-chair, New York); NCOIL; NCIGF; IAIR; APIW; Swiss Re (Zurich); Munich Re (Germany); General Re; Signet Re; Swiss Re Centre for Dialogue (Zurich).

Reinsurance Instructor for Departments of Insurance (TX, ME, IL, KY, CA, MT, CO, LA, DC, FL, MO); Federal Regulators (U.S. Federal Reserve, SEC); and non-U.S. Regulators on behalf of U.S. Dept. of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative: Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Russia and Egypt. 

Guest instructor at the University of Dallas & John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois. 

Mediation Instructor for RAA member companies.

Education / Bar Admissions / Awards / Elections

J.D. John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois (1980)

Licensed in State of Illinois and District of Columbia. 

Admitted to

  • Illinois Bar 
  • Trial Bar Northern District of Illinois
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals 
  • District of Columbia
  • United States Supreme Court. 

Elected Select Board Member, Rockport, Maine. 3-year term June 2018 to June 2021.

Appointed to Board of Directors for MId-Coast Solid Waste Corporation, November 2018 to Present.

President of Board of Directors for Penobscot Bay Ringers, 2010 to Present. 

President of several HOA and not-for-profit Board of Directors, 2005 to 2015.

Elected Town Clerk, Long Grove, Illinois.  

2008 Recipient of Swiss Re's inaugural Play as One to Win Award for successful team effort in opening the Brazilian reinsurance market.