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Carter Lawrence

Commissioner
Commerce & Insurance

Carter Lawrence serves as the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. Appointed by Governor Bill Lee, Lawrence assumed leadership of the department effective November 12, 2020. Before his appointment to Governor Lee’s cabinet, Lawrence served as Chief Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Previously, Lawrence served as Assistant Commissioner for the Regulatory Boards Division at the Department of Commerce and Insurance where he oversaw more than 40 fee reductions while improving measured customer service, modernizing business practices to faster license professionals and successfully removed burdensome regulations. In 2019, Lawrence briefly served as Interim Commissioner for Governor Bill Lee.

As Tennessee’s Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance, Lawrence is the state fire marshal and is responsible for the divisions of insurance, fire prevention, regulatory boards – including twenty-six regulatory entities, TennCare Oversight, and the administratively attached Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Tennessee Police Officer Standards and Training Commission and Tennessee Emergency Communications Board.  In 2020, the department collected approximately $1.25 billion in fees and premium taxes and had expenditures of $225 million.

Lawrence is an attorney who studied law at the University of Tennessee, where he also obtained a Master of Business Administration. For undergraduate studies, Carter obtained a Bachelor of Arts at Wheaton College in Illinois.

Lawrence is a Nashville-area native. He and his wife, Amy, are the proud parents three children – two boys, Alister and Titus, and a girl, Penelope. Together with their old dog, Otto, they are residents of the Nipper’s Corner area of Nashville and attend church at Nashville’s Church of the Redeemer.  

Lawrence looks forward to continuing to advance Governor Lee’s agenda as he serves all 6.8 million Tennesseans impacted by the Department of Commerce and Insurance.