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Governor Deval Patrick yesterday announced his selection of Barbara Anthony as the new Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

Anthony, a Massachusetts native, is one of the state’s most well-known consumer advocates and is a highly respected public interest lawyer. She begins as Undersecretary on May 11.

“Barbara brings a wealth of experience and great collegiality to her new role and will help lead our efforts on auto insurance reform, identity theft protection, foreclosure prevention and other critical issues,” said Governor Patrick.

Anthony comes to OCABR from Health Law Advocates, a Boston-based non-profit health law firm, where she has been Executive Director since 2007. Previously, from 1999 to 2007, Anthony was Regional Director of the Northeast Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission where she directed consumer and competition advocacy and law enforcement efforts. Earlier, she served as Chief of the Public Protection Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

The appointment as Undersecretary is a return to the office for Anthony, who served as Assistant Secretary for OCABR in the late 1980s. Anthony succeeds Daniel Crane, who exited state service in March.

“I would like to thank Governor Patrick and Secretary Bialecki for their confidence and support as I take on this important mission,” Anthony said. “These are challenging times, and it’s critical to continue the Administration’s efforts to empower and support consumers, communities and businesses.”

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation includes six agencies, the Department of Telecommunications and Cable, the Division of Banks, the Division of Insurance, the Division of Professional Licensure, the Division of Standards, and the State Racing Commission. OCABR and its agencies are dedicated to supporting better businesses and smarter consumers through policies initiated by the Patrick Administration, and by providing information and tips on issues that are important to consumers throughout the Commonwealth.

“As someone who has built a career advocating for consumers and the public interest, I am thrilled about this opportunity,” said Anthony. “Every day, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation has a positive impact on the important issues that face consumers throughout the Commonwealth. I’m ready to continue and accelerate those critical efforts.”

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