Seth R. Lamont
Director, Government Relations, CNA Insurance
Seth Lamont’s work history spans all three branches of New York State government, with a focus on insurance law. Yet one of his favorite professional achievements is developing the Consumer Protection Board’s “Do Not Call” program.
“It sort of found me,” he says of the project. Though Lamont went to the Consumer Protection Board in 2001 as an energy lawyer, he stepped into a peculiar vacuum in leadership surrounding the “Do Not Call” legislation; by the time the law passed, almost all the people responsible for getting it passed had left the agency.
Lamont loved the opportunity to build something from scratch. “It was a chance to get a program off the ground from soup to nuts. Nothing was in place,” explains Lamont. “To build out a new operation is the kind of thing I’ve always liked to do.”
Today Lamont is back to his legal roots, practicing insurance and energy law in his role at CNA. He says the position has given him more respect for the private sector.
“One of the things that transitioning showed me is that despite the rhetoric we see everywhere, people on both sides are trying to do the right thing,” Lamont said. “I see as much or more integrity on the private side as I did working in public affairs.”
How did your past jobs get you to where you are now?
“During my time in the private sector, I worked closely with the marketing department, and my observations from that time are useful today. One of the things I try to do in my role is get our business leads in front of associations that can help us place our product. That sort of quasi-sales activity is something I enjoy having in my portfolio.”
If you were not working in politics, what would you be doing?
“Marketing insurance in the private sector.”
Five years from now, what will it say on your business card?
“ ‘Chief Transformation Officer at CNA.’”
If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
“Mind reading. When you’ve been in this environment long enough, you can usually tell whether somebody’s being forthright with you or not, but that would certainly take all the guesswork out of it.”
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