History and Background

“From the halls of Congress and state capitols to regulatory and professional bodies such as the NAIC, FASB, and the IAA, the Academy represents the interests of all U.S. actuaries. As a member of the Academy, you are demonstrating a personal commitment to responsible actuarial practice, professionalism, and sound public policy.”
—Dan McCarthy, Academy past president


FOR MANY YEARS, the actuarial profession in North America consisted of four organizations: the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), the Conference of Actuaries in Public Practice, the Fraternal Actuarial Association, and the Society of Actuaries (SOA). In 1964, these organizations recognized the need for a single inclusive body that would represent qualified American actuaries of all specialties. They approved the creation of a new organization.
The American Academy of Actuaries was born Oct. 25, 1965, as an unincorporated association serving the actuarial profession in the United States. In 1966, it became a corporation under the Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act. The Academy’s first president was Henry F. Rood—the actuary who had first formally proposed the creation of such an organization in 1958, when he was SOA president. The Academy initially shared administrative facilities with the SOA in Chicago; then, in January 1976, the Academy moved its headquarters to the nation’s capital, where it remains.
Today, the Academy serves as the voice of American actuaries on public policy and professionalism issues, representing the U.S. actuarial profession at the state, federal, and international levels. It provides independent, objective actuarial expertise on public policy issues to legislators, regulators, policymakers, and others, and it develops and maintains professional standards.
The Academy started out with 1,427 charter members, automatically offering membership to all U.S. residents who were fellows (or the equivalent) of the four existing American actuarial organizations. Today, the Academy has 18,500+ members (data as of January 2016)—most of the actuaries in North America. They include consultants, corporate executives, regulators, university professors, government officials, and retirees. Their areas of practice range from pensions and financial reporting to casualty, life, and health insurance.

Historical Notes on the Founding of the American Academy of Actuaries

  • Read a fascinating history of the events beginning in 1948 that led to the founding of the American Academy of Actuaries in 1965. (Historical notes compiled by Walter L. Rugland, MAAA, FSA, FFAA, in June 1986.)

Past Officers of the Academy

Charter Members

  • Click here for a list of the 1,466 Charter Members of the Academy.

50th Anniversary

  • In recognition of its 50th anniversary in 2015, the Academy released a movie celebrating its Golden Anniversary; a 44-page hardcover book, Charting the Course, which tells the story of the Academy’s founding along with a historical overview of the actuarial profession in the United States; and an online timeline highlighting milestone events and dates in the Academy’s history.

    Purchase your copy of Charting the Course here. Just $20 including p&p.

    An Adobe digital version (EPUB format) is also available, for reading on your Kindle or other portable device.

    You may download the digital version for free by clicking here.