Mary Elizabeth "Liz" Butler has been named chief of staff of the Louisiana Department of Insurance, where her duties include overseeing the agency budget, personnel and day-to-day operations of the agency. 

Butler had been assistant deputy commissioner in the department's Office of Consumer Services. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon appointed Butler to the new position earlier this month. She began her career at the department in 2013, working as a regulatory attorney in the Division of Legal Services before moving to consumer services.

Butler replaces Denise Gardner, who served at the Insurance Department for 28 years. Gardner was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Insure Louisiana Incentive Program, which helped attract new insurers to Louisiana following the devastating hurricanes of 2005. She also served as chairwoman of the board of the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state’s insurer of last resort.