In October 2022, the Academy’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force presented a report to the Board that recommended a series of steps, most notably to establish a Board committee that would support the Board’s ongoing commitment to building a culture of DEI in all the Academy does. Its members, vision, mission, and charge are listed below, along with the definitions we use of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Board will review progress on these goals on an annual basis, receiving periodic reports from the Board committee.
On this page, we highlight recent work done by the various Academy committees and task forces tasked with working specifically on DEI-related issues, as well as work done more generally on these topics by other Academy committees. You can access a list of the DE&I Committee’s members and read its charge here.
DEI Vision statement
The American Academy of Actuaries recognizes every individual’s unique voice, talents, and experiences, in an environment in which every person’s contribution is valued and respected.
DEI Mission statement
The American Academy of Actuaries is committed to building a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything we do. We understand that we have a shared responsibility to nurture an inclusive and diverse community. We cultivate a community that embraces individual differences in all aspects of life, such as age, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender expression, sexual orientation, neurodivergence, and all the many other characteristics that make each of us unique. In support of this commitment:
- Within our organization: Our employment practices and policies foster a workplace that is open, receptive, and respectful, where all employees feel valued and valuable and interact with the actuarial community and the public in a way that embodies these principles.
- Among our volunteers: Our community of volunteers welcomes and embraces the diversity of thought and life experiences that allow our work products to reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage active engagement of members from underrepresented groups within our actuarial community, including all levels of leadership.
- Among the U.S. Actuarial Profession: We continue to promulgate and adhere to the highest professionalism standards. We ensure that those standards evolve and adapt to reflect our commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We educate actuaries on the application of these principles to their work and interactions with colleagues, clients, and the public.
- For the public: We provide objective actuarial public policy analysis that supports an equitable and inclusive community in the United States. We identify and address actuarial practices and norms that raise barriers and perpetuate inequity. We raise the understanding of how various practices, societal issues, and public policies impact equity from an actuarial perspective.
Defining what DEI means for the Academy
Goal: Explain what the terms Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mean to the Academy to ensure that they are consistently understood and used by the Academy’s Board, volunteers, and staff.
Diversity is understanding, embracing, and leveraging the many ways in which people differ. Diversity involves the psychological, physical, and social differences among individuals, such as: race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, economic class, education, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, mental and physical ability, and learning styles.
Equity is providing every individual with the necessary access, resources, and same opportunities to obtain equivalent potential outcomes. Equity involves ensuring that processes and practices are fair and impartial, and identifying and eliminating barriers that prevent individuals from fully participating at all levels.
Inclusion is creating and maintaining an environment in which all individuals are and feel respected, supported, heard, valued, and welcomed to fully participate. Inclusion involves encouraging and fostering a sense of belonging.
Academy Activities & Resources
Academy DEI Panel Garners Media Attention
The Academy’s Nov. 14 Envision Tomorrow general session on the Academy’s DEI activities and featuring discussion with representatives of affinity groups within the U.S. profession garnered coverage from InsuranceNewsNet. Read the article here: “Taking steps to spur diversity in actuarial profession.”
Health Equity Issue Brief Summarizes Series on Benefit Design and Removing Barriers to Successful Implementation
The Health Equity Committee released an issue brief summarizing its "Health Benefit Design Innovations for Advancing Health Equity: Removing the Barriers to Successful Implementation" series. (November 14, 2023)
DEI Panel at Envision Tomorrow, Nov. 14
The DEI panel at the Academy’s Annual Meeting, Envision Tomorrow, took place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, Speakers were (from left) Annette James, Chairperson, the Academy’s DEI Committee (moderator); Pooja Gattu, South Asian Network of Actuaries; Dwayne Husbands, International Association of Black Actuaries; David Scharf, Network of Actuarial Women and Allies; Ron Gebhardtsbauer, Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries; Enrique Schulz, Organization of Latino Actuaries; Sherry Chan, Abacus Actuaries.
Committee Releases Issue Paper on Social Security and Financially Disadvantaged Groups
The Social Security Committee released an issue paper, Social Security and Financially Disadvantaged Groups, focusing on how benefits received by different groups are shaped by features of the program interacting with circumstances and trends associated with members of financially disadvantaged groups. The paper also discusses various reform proposals and how they might affect members of certain groups. (November 10, 2023)
Health Equity Issue Brief Examines Overcoming Constraints to Implementation
The Health Equity Committee released the final two issue briefs in its "Health Benefit Design Innovations for Advancing Health Equity: Removing the Barriers to Successful Implementation" series. How to Better Understand the Needs of the People We’re Trying to Serve explores how to better understand unmet needs and incorporate input from employees and plan members into the benefit design decision-making process, and Overcoming Constraints to Implementation discusses some of the challenges of implementing equity-enhancing benefit plans—and possible solutions. The lessons learned in discussions that led to the four issue briefs will be the topic of a special Health Symposium: Health Benefit Design Innovations for Advancing Health Equity Nov. 15, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 EST. (November 10, 2023)
Academy Board Charts Path Forward During Fall Meeting
The Academy’s Board of Directors conducted a busy two-day meeting Oct. 18–19 in Washington, D.C., to review progress on several key initiatives and discuss plans for new efforts in the year ahead to fulfill its mission and support members, employers, and future actuaries entering the profession. The Board invited all incoming members to join the meeting as observers as it discussed a variety of strategic items including volunteer engagement, education, pipeline diversity, membership requirements, employer value, and more.
On the meeting’s second day, the Board continued its focus on and commitment to diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI), approving a series of goals proposed by the DEI Committee to operationalize this area of work. The committee will continue to review progress on these goals and report to Board, ensure the Academy’s work is communicated to members and other stakeholders, facilitate and support the continued education of leadership in this area, and collaborate with other committees to encourage the synergy of efforts in areas related to DEI. For the reminder of the day the Board—along with invited incoming members and senior staff—took an “Inclusive Leadership” training with Melissa Majors, author of “The 7 Habits of Inclusive Leaders.” Majors strives to help existing leaders stretch themselves to unlock the full engagement of their teams and is globally renowned as an innovator and optimizer of education, inclusion, and leadership strategies.
CPC, LPC Comment to Colorado on Discrimination Law
The Casualty Practice Council and Life Practice Council submitted comments to the Colorado Division of Insurance (CDOI) on its draft regulation on insurance discrimination. The comments reiterated support for Colorado’s initiative to prevent unfairly discriminatory practices in insurance and shared actuarial perspectives related to the design of the data testing requirement.
Professionalism Webinar Looks at Bias Issues
A Professionalism webinar on October 26 looked at issues related to bias. In “Where Does Bias Hide? Defining Data Biases and Unfairly Discriminatory Considerations,” Data Science and Analytics Committee (DSAC) Chairperson Dorothy Andrews addressed the importance of identifying biases in data and algorithms and the dangers of using data that may be embedded with bias. Senior Director of Professionalism and General Counsel Brian Jackson moderated.
Andrews cited five possible sources of algorithmic bias: in an organization, in the way a problem may be solved, in data, in models, and in potential model misuse. She said that statistical biases lie above the waterline and are the easiest to see and resolve. Just below the waterline lie human biases, while systemic biases lie at the base of the iceberg and are the most difficult to detect and change. “Diversity is the key to detecting and mitigating these biases in modeling,” Andrews said. She covered the modeling process, examining various types of bias that could occur, and offering keys to mitigating them, and examined examples of bias in such areas as medicine, traffic enforcement, and auto insurance prices. Andrews wrapped up with the Modeler’s Hippocratic Oath and suggestions for what actuaries can do to mitigate bias in their work. A recording and slides are available as a complimentary Academy member benefit.
“An Actuarial View on Data Bias” webinar set for December—A continuation on the previously published issue brief and part of the DSAC series, Additional Considerations in Data Science, this webinar will examine key types of data bias that actuaries may encounter and focuses on biases found in modeling data and the implications for algorithmic outcomes. It’s scheduled for Dec. 5—registration will open soon.
Health Equity Issue Brief Examines Evaluation of Benefit Changes
A new Health Equity Committee issue brief, Overcoming Challenges to the Way Potential Benefit Changes Are Evaluated, provides an overview of how potential benefit changes are evaluated and how those evaluations could facilitate the incorporation of equity-enhancing benefit design features. These issues were discussed in the second of a series of workshops with stakeholders and decision-makers focusing on changing cost-sharing features, such as through value-based insurance design (VBID), as well as adding benefits to address health-related social needs. They will also be explored further in the Nov. 15 symposium in which the Academy will engage with stakeholders on a series of topics related to health equity and commit to a call for action that underscores the need to move from discussion to solution-oriented practices.
Health Equity From an Actuarial Perspective—Provider Contracting and Network Development
Health Fellow Cori Uccello and Health Equity Committee members Ugo Okpewho and Sara Teppema gave an overview of the committee’s work on equity considerations related to provider contracting and network development to AHIP’s Health Equity Workgroup.(October 10, 2023)
Health Equity From an Actuarial Perspective—Benefit Design
Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello gave an overview of the Health Equity Committee’s work on equity considerations related to benefit design to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) Marketplace Affordability Project. (September 20, 2023)
Pension Webinar Explores Gender Data
The Sept. 27 webinar, “Valuing Gender Expansive Data in Pension Plans,” examined the Pension Committee’s recent issue brief, Valuing Gender Expansive Data, which covers areas pension actuaries may consider when performing an actuarial valuation using sex/gender expansive data—including data on sex/gender that is either missing or non-binary. Webinar slides and a recording are available as a complimentary member benefit.
New Bias Webinar Announced
In “Where Does Bias Hide? Defining Data Biases and Unfairly Discriminatory Considerations,” set for Oct. 26, Data Science and Analytics Committee Chairperson Dorothy Andrews will address the importance of identifying biases in data and algorithms, trends in P/C insurance rate modeling, and more. Attendees can count this toward USQS requirements for annual bias education. Register today.
Health Equity from an Actuarial Perspective: Health Plan Pricing
On Sept. 12, 2023, Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello and Health Equity Committee member Rebecca Sheppard gave an overview of the committee’s work on equity considerations related to health plan pricing to AHIP’s Health Equity Workgroup.
Actuary Voices Features Pension Committee Members
Maria Kirilenko and Koren Holden, members of the Pension Committee and contributing authors of the new issue brief Valuing Gender Expansive Data, are featured in the latest Actuary Voices. Their conversation focuses on issues pension actuaries might consider when performing valuations using sex/gender expansive data. They also discuss their Academy volunteer experiences and their paths to joining the profession. (Sept. 11, 2023)
Two Outstanding Volunteer Awards Given to Volunteers in DEI Sphere
Susan Kent has led efforts to address bias issues in P/C insurance, offering actuarial considerations to state regulators and other policymakers in Colorado related to their insurance anti-discrimination law.
Kirsten Pedersen spearheaded an important and potentially precedent-setting area of life public policy: state laws and regulation relating to unfair discrimination.
Professionalism Webinar to Look at Bias Issues
In “Where Does Bias Hide? Defining Data Biases and Unfairly Discriminatory Considerations,” Data Science and Analytics Committee Chairperson and Academy Board member Dorothy Andrews will address the importance of identifying biases in data and algorithms and the dangers of using data that may be embedded with bias. It will be held on Oct. 26 from noon to 1:30 p.m. EDT. Professionalism and bias topic CE will be available; registration will open soon.
P/C Committee on Equity and Fairness Presents to Colorado DoI
P/C Committee on Equity and Fairness Chairperson Lauren Cavanaugh and Vice Chairperson Susan Kent presented at Thursday’s Colorado Division of Insurance stakeholder meeting on “Unfair Discrimination in Insurance Practices,” focusing on private passenger auto insurance. They cited key points, illustrative examples, and the committee’s February issue brief, Approaches to Identify and/or Mitigate Bias in Property and Casualty Insurance. (August 24, 2023)
An issue brief released by the Pension Committee, Valuing Gender Expansive Data, examines issues pension actuaries may consider when performing an actuarial valuation using sex/gender expansive data—data on sex/gender that is either missing or nonbinary. It also discusses several possible approaches to handling such data and setting reasonable actuarial assumptions. (August 14, 2023)
James Educates on What an Actuary Is and Spotlights Academy’s Health Equity Work in TV Interview
Viewers of the Reno, Nev.-based public affairs program “Face the State” had a special treat this past weekend, as Health Equity Committee Chairperson Annette James was a featured guest for the program’s long-interview format. James opened with an explanation of what an actuary is, and then focused on the Academy’s work on health equity issues, emphasizing the need for stakeholders to work together in developing solutions, and the central role of data in addressing equity issues. “You can't change that which you can't measure, so having access to good data is really important,” James said. James also previewed the Health Equity Symposium that the Academy will be hosting this November, noting that Nevada’s congressional delegation among other members of Congress and stakeholders in this important public policy dialogue will be invited. Watch the interview here and visit the Academy’s website to learn more about its work on health equity. (August 13, 2023)
Issue Brief Provides Overview of Issues Related to Designing Health Benefits to Improve Health Equity
An issue brief released by the Health Equity Committee provides an overview of issues related to designing health benefits to improve health equity. These issues were discussed in the first of a series of workshops with stakeholders and decision-makers focusing on changing cost-sharing features, such as through value-based insurance design (VBID), as well as adding benefits to address health-related social needs. (August 8, 2023)
Academy Attends, Presents at IABA Annual Meeting
Academy staff and volunteers attended the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in early August. Data Science and Analytics Committee Chairperson Dorothy Andrews presented on “Defining Data Biases and Unfairly Discriminatory Considerations.” IABA attendees visited the Academy’s onsite booth for information on Envision Tomorrow, volunteering opportunities, and more.
Call for Volunteers Open; Information Session on Aug. 10
The Academy opened its annual Call for Volunteers survey on July 31. Whether you are new to the Academy, a member who has not volunteered yet, or an experienced volunteer interested in learning more, register now for an Aug. 10 information session that will help you learn more about volunteering with the Academy, available volunteering opportunities, and to prepare you to take the survey, which will run through Sept. 6. (July 31, 2023)
The Data Science and Analytics Committee (DSAC) released an issue brief, An Actuarial View of Data Bias: Definitions, Impacts and Considerations. The issue brief—the first in a new DSAC series called “Additional Considerations in Data Science”—looks at the key types of data bias that actuaries may encounter and focuses on the kinds of biases found in modeling data and the implications for algorithmic outcomes. (July 18, 2023)
Health Equity Symposium Set for November
An Academy symposium, “Health Benefit Design Innovations for Advancing Health Equity,” is scheduled for Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. The symposium, which will also be open virtually, has confirmed luncheon speaker Lisa Fitzpatrick, also known as “Dr. Lisa on the Street,” who is also founder & CEO of Grapevine Health. More information will be available soon.
Academy Presents on Health Equity at SOA Meeting
Health Equity Committee (HEC) Chairperson and Academy Board member Annette James presented on “Health Equity: What it Means for Actuaries” at the Society of Actuaries’ Health Meeting in Seattle on June 28. James’ presentation offered definitions, dimensions of health disparities, why actuaries care about health equity (along with challenges and opportunities), and gave an overview of the HEC’s work, including a planned Nov. 15 symposium in Washington, D.C. (June 28, 2023)
Presentation on Health Equity
Health Equity Committee Vice Chairperson Stacey Lampkin presented on the Academy’s ongoing work on health equity to the Southeastern Actuaries Conference on Thursday, June 22, 2023—including the committee’s upcoming 2023 workshops and symposium focusing on the intersection of benefit design and health equity. (June 22, 2023)
DEI Committee Updates Academy Board
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee updated the Academy’s Board during its May meeting on continuing work, including plans for outreach to various practice councils and Academy committees. It also reported on an education plan for volunteers that would be implemented in the coming months in support of the Academy’s continued commitment to intentional efforts to maintain the specific DEI missions and visions of the Academy’s practices and workstreams. (May 17, 2023)
‘Actuary Voices’ Podcast Features Ritu Jain, co-founder and former president of the South Asian Network of Actuaries (SANA)
The latest edition Actuary Voices featured Ritu Jain, co-founder and former president of the South Asian Network of Actuaries (SANA), who discussed her professional path, the impetus behind the foundation of SANA and the important work it does, and her thoughts on the future of the profession. Listen to Actuary Voices wherever you get your favorite podcasts and don’t forget to rate it as well.
In May, CPC, RMFRC Hold Hill Visits
Both the Casualty Practice Council (CPS) and the Risk Management and Financial Reporting Council (RMFRC) held their annual joint “Hill visits” with lawmakers, regulators, and policymakers from Capitol Hill offices and federal agencies in the nation’s capital. As the public policy voice for the U.S. actuarial profession, the Academy undertakes “Hill visits” each spring with federal lawmakers and policymakers to develop relationships with and serve as a resource for public stakeholders. In addition to Capitol Hill staff, CPC and RMFRC volunteers met virtually with the White House Council of Economic Advisers and Council on Environmental Quality; Government Accountability Office; Congressional Budget Office; Congressional Research Service, the director of the Federal Insurance Office; Federal Emergency Management Agency; and Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Discussion topics included climate change, data science and bias, cyber risk, affordability and unfair discrimination, extreme events, pandemic risk insurance, flood insurance and catastrophe modeling, and asset adequacy and solvency. For more on the CPC’s and RMFRC’s public policy work, visit the Public Policy webpage.
‘Actuary Voices’ Podcast Features Dwayne Husbands, president of the International Association of Black Actuaries
On an episode of Actuary Voices, the Academy spoke with Dwayne Husbands, president of the International Association of Black Actuaries, about the work of the IABA and his path to the actuarial profession.
Casualty Quarterly features Q&A on P/C Issue Brief Addressing Approaches to Identify, Mitigate Bias
The Spring Casualty Quarterly featured a Q&A with the Casualty Practice Council’s Committee on Equity and Fairness Vice Chairperson Susan Kent on the committee’s issue brief, Approaches to Identify and/or Mitigate Bias in Property and Casualty Insurance, who offers an incisive look into this important issue.
Drake Symposium Academy Scholarship Recipients
As in previous years, the Academy sponsored a diversity scholarship for students attending the Drake Symposium on Insurance, held last week at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Five students won this year. Pictured, left to right: Doan Pham, Carlos Fuentes, Nate Kantorski, and Sejal Pamnani. (Not pictured: Esther Akinbinu.)
Health Equity Committee Seeks Volunteers
The Health Equity Committee is recruiting volunteers. The committee, led by chairperson and Academy Board member Annette James, has an ambitious agenda and needs health actuaries interested in contributing to its efforts. Prospective volunteers don’t necessarily need experience in health equity issues; rather, the committee is looking for those with experience in one of its areas of focus—health insurance benefit design; health plan pricing; provider contracting and network development; or population health management. It is also interested in people with expertise in data and algorithms. Interested parties may email Academy Senior Health Policy Analyst Matthew Williams at email@example.com.
Applications Due April 17 for Abacus Actuaries Mentorship Program
Abacus Actuaries’ 2023 Mentorship Program is underway, following a successful pilot program last year. Academy Pension Vice President Sherry Chan co-founded Abacus Actuaries to assist Asian actuaries in their professional work, presenting about it at the Academy’s 2021 Annual Meeting. The mentorship program will last six months, beginning in June. Those interested are encouraged to fill out the sign-up form by April 17.
‘Actuary Voices’ Podcast Features Amber Rohde, co-founder and president of the Network of Actuarial Women and Allies (NAWA)
As Women’s History Month draws to a close, the latest Actuary Voices is a discussion with Amber Rohde, co-founder and president of the Network of Actuarial Women and Allies (NAWA), who talks about NAWA’s origins and its efforts aimed at connecting and empowering women to be successful in the actuarial profession. (March 30, 2023)
Academy Presents on Health Equity at V-Bid Summit
The American Journal of Managed Care published an extensive report on Academy Health Equity Committee Chairperson Annette James’ presentation in a March 8 health equity summit sponsored by the University of Michigan’s V-Bid Center.
Comment Letter on Draft Regulation Related to the Implementation of Colorado Bill on Unfair Discrimination in Underwriting
The Life Practice Council, Health Practice Council, and Casualty Practice Council submitted a joint comment letter to the Colorado Division of Insurance on its recent exposure of a draft regulation on Governance and Risk Management Framework Requirements for Life Insurance Carriers’ Use of External Consumer Data and Information Sources, Algorithms, and Predictive Models: the first exposed implementation regulation for Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) § 10-3-1104.9, signed into law on July 6, 2021.
Become a Student Mentor with IABA
The International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA) mentorship program is open for potential mentors and mentees to indicate their interest. The IABA Mentoring Committee held a “fireside chat” on Feb. 22 and will host an informational session in April to enable individuals to connect. The Academy joined IABA’s Corporate Advisory Council last year—Academy members are encouraged to sign up today via the IABA Mentorship Hub.
P/C Issue Brief Addresses Bias Issues
A new P/C issue brief, Approaches to Identify and/or Mitigate Bias in Property and Casualty Insurance, offers a from-the-trenches look at this important issue. Key points include:
- Concerns about potential unintended bias in insurance practices have escalated in recent years, especially for P/C lines, and there is increasing activity in legislation and regulation in this area.
- There are many approaches that might be used to identify and address bias.
- Several principles can be considered that might assist regulators in the selection of suitable methodologies.
Comment Letter on Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Model and Data Regulatory Questions Exposure
The Life Practice Council and the Casualty Practice Council submitted a joint comment letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (H) Working Group on the its Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Model and Data Regulatory Questions Exposure. (Feb. 13, 2023)
Supporting a Study of Unintentional Bias in Automobile Insurance
The P/C Committee on Equity and Fairness sent a comment letter to the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) on the DISB’s request for comment on its draft data call to support their study of unintentional bias in automobile insurance. (Jan 20, 2023)
DEI Committee Reports to the Academy Board
At its Jan. 11–12 meeting, the Board reviewed progress on some key strategic initiatives, as outlined in the Academy’s updated goals and strategic objectives, which were adopted in October 2022. Specifically, the Board heard updates from the Strategic Planning Committee and the newly established Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee, whose members are Annette James (chairperson) and: Amy Angell, Margaret Berger, Tom Campbell, Seong-min Eom, Derek Freihaut, Julia Lerche, and Pete Weber. (Jan. 12, 2023)
Academy Sponsoring Drake Symposium Diversity Scholarships
Members are encouraged to share with actuarial students that the Academy is sponsoring six diversity scholarships to the 2023 Drake Symposium on Insurance, which focuses on insurance and actuarial science. Recipients must be available to travel to Des Moines, Iowa, on April 14–15, 2023. The application deadline is Feb. 17. (Jan 5, 2023)
CE Check for the New USQS
|2023 is the first year for which actuaries must meet the recently revised Qualification Standards for Actuaries Issuing Statements of Actuarial Opinion in the United States. The latest requirements include at least one hour of bias CE, which involves content that provides knowledge and perspective that assist in identifying and assessing biases that may exist in data, assumptions, algorithms, and models that impact Actuarial Services. Biases may include but are not limited to statistical, cognitive, and social biases. (Jan. 1, 2023)||
Identifying Bias in P/C Insurance
The Academy’s Casualty Practice Council. hosted a Dec. 20 webinar, “P/C Public Policy Update—Winter 2022.” Topics included an overview and update on P/C risk-based capital (RBC) issues that the Academy’s P/C RBC Committee is working with the NAIC on, medical marijuana as it relates to workers’ compensation, and methods to identify bias in P/C insurance. Casualty VP Amy Angell moderated. Slides and audio are available free to members. (Dec. 21, 2022)
P/C Loss Reserve Opinions Seminar Offers Bias Credit
The Academy’s annual Seminar on Effective P/C Loss Reserve Opinions— designed for actuaries who prepare, or assist with preparing, annual statements of actuarial opinion on P/C loss reserves—has updated a session on the use of reserve ranges, which will count toward the new continuing education requirement on bias topics under the U.S. Qualification Standards (USQS). The seminar was held Dec. 5–6 at the Marriott Phoenix Airport. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Academy Presentation to Prudential’s Annual Actuarial Ethics Program
Committee on Qualifications member Kevin Russell and Data Science and Analytics Committee member Liaw Huang virtually presented Prudential’s annual actuarial ethics program, offering an overview of the amended USQS and a focused discussion of bias in the context of data, models, and algorithms. (Nov. 29, 2022)
|The Academy’s Envision Tomorrow: 2022 Annual Meeting, held Nov. 2–3 in Washington, D.C., covered current public policy and professionalism topics and featured general and practice-area breakout sessions on issues such as diversity, equity & inclusion; inflation and the economy; longevity; big data; climate risk; and a lively general session on professionalism and ethics. (Nov. 4, 2022)|
Spotlight on DEI
The Academy’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force presented a report to the Board that recommended a series of steps, most notably to establish a Board committee that would support the Board’s ongoing commitment to building a culture of DE&I in all the Academy does. The Board will review progress on these goals on an annual basis, receiving periodic reports from the Board committee. (October 20, 2022)
Academy Volunteers Participate in Panel on Bias at NAWA Meeting
Academy Board Member and Data Science and Analytics Committee Chairperson Dorothy Andrews, Casualty Vice President Lauren Cavanaugh, and Health Equity Committee Vice Chairperson Stacey Lampkin participated in an Oct. 3 panel discussion, “Bias Across Our Industries,” as part of the Network of Actuarial Women and Allies (NAWA) annual meeting. (Oct. 3, 2022)
Comment Letter to DISB on their Review of Automobile Insurance for Unintentional Bias
The Casualty Practice Council submitted written comments to the Washington, D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking's (DISB) Request for Comments on evaluating unintentional bias in private passenger automobile insurance. The letter expanded on the Academy's previous comments to the DISB on recommended actuarial considerations for determining unintentional bias in auto insurance. (August 22, 2022)
Academy presents to IABA Annual Meeting on Big Data and Consumer Impacts Issue Paper
|The use of big data and algorithms in actuarial modeling is becoming a topic of increased scrutiny from industry leaders, policy makers, and the general public, particularly as we consider the ethical and bias concerns of how data and algorithms are being used to guide business decisions. Dave Sandberg, a member of the core drafting group for the Big Data and Algorithms in Actuarial Modeling and Consumer Impacts issue paper presented and highlighted the findings from the paper and discussed the implications for actuaries at the International Association of Black Actuaries 2022 Annual Meeting. (August 13, 2022)||
Written Testimony to DISB on Unintentional Bias in Private Passenger Automobile Insurance
The Casualty Practice Council submitted written comments following the Washington, D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) on their hearing, "Initiative to Evaluate Unintentional Bias in Private Passenger Automobile Insurance." The letter expanded on the Academy's verbal presentation on the recommended actuarial considerations for determining unintentional bias in auto insurance. (July 08, 2022)
DSAC Releases Major Issue Brief on Correlation and Causation
|The Data Science and Analytics Committee released a major issue brief, An Actuarial View of Correlation and Causation - From Interpretation to Practice to Implications. The issue brief provides a discussion of key questions that actuaries may encounter as they work in the risk classification domain; actuarial practices surrounding data, predictive modeling, and risk classification that are also key considerations for public policymaking and regulatory efforts aimed at ensuring that insurance practices are not “unfairly discriminatory.” (July 6, 2022)||
Testimony to DISB on Unintentional Bias in Private Passenger Automobile Insurance
Academy Casualty VP, Lauren Cavanaugh, provided testimony on June 29 before the Washington, D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) on their upcoming "Initiative to Evaluate Unintentional Bias in Private Passenger Automobile Insurance. " She provided a verbal presentation on the recommended actuarial considerations for determining unintentional bias in auto insurance. (June 29, 2022)
Issue Brief on Sourcing Protected Class Information in P&C Insurance
The Racial Equity Task Force released an issue brief discussing the potential options to obtaining protected class information on insureds in the P&C insurance industry to test for practices that may disproportionally harm members of any protected classes. It also evaluates three general data collection methods—collecting additional data, capturing existing external data, or imputing data—for desirable attributes such as accuracy, efficiency, and the size of the data set. (June 28, 2022)
Spread the Word—Academy-Sponsored Diversity Scholarships Available for Drake Symposium
Academy members are encouraged to share with actuarial students that the Academy is sponsoring six diversity scholarships to April’s Drake Symposium on Insurance, which focuses on insurance and actuarial science. Current university students of under-represented backgrounds interested in the actuarial profession are encouraged to apply. Recipients must be available to travel to Des Moines, Iowa, from April 8 to 10. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15; for more information, click here.
Academy Submits Letter to Colorado Division of Insurance
Academy President Maryellen Coggins submitted a letter to the Colorado Division of Insurance in advance of the upcoming stakeholder engagement process for the recently passed state law aimed to protect consumers from unfair discrimination in insurance practices. The comments addressed potential concerns of the law’s impact on casualty, health, and life insurance. (February 4, 2022)
Academy Submits Letter to NAIC Special Committee on Race and Insurance
Casualty Vice President Lauren Cavanaugh presented to the NAIC’s Special Committee on Race and Insurance (SCORI) Workstream 3 (Property and Casualty) on behalf of the Academy’s Racial Equity Task Force (RETF) on the work RETF has completed and is currently doing; she also provided comments to SCORI Workstream 3 on proxy discrimination and disproportionate impact. (December 1, 2021)
Academy Releases Major Issue Paper on Big Data and Consumer Impacts
|The Data Science and Analytics Committee released a major issue paper, Big Data and Algorithms in Actuarial Modeling and Consumer Impacts. The purpose of this paper is to provide a framing for understanding how developments in big data and artificial intelligence (AI) may impact insurance offerings and their oversight; education for actuaries, regulators, legislators, and other interested stakeholders on the evolving impacts of big data and AI technologies on the oversight, accessibility, and sustainability of insurance since the publication of the Big Data and the Role of the Actuary monograph; and education for a framework on algorithmic accountability and considerations specific across different lines of insurance. (November 08, 2021)|
Health Equity Work Group Releases Discussion Brief on Population Health
The Health Equity Work Group (HEWG) released a discussion brief, Health Equity from an Actuarial Perspective: Managing Population Health. This discussion brief is the final in the HEWG’s series of discussion papers designed to provide more context on health equity issues raised in the initial discussion brief, Health Equity from an Actuarial Perspective: Questions to Explore. The series was undertaken by the HEWG to lay the groundwork for future exploration and research into health disparities. (October 15, 2021)
Health Equity Work Group Releases Discussion Brief – Issue in Focus: Health Equity and Provider Contracting/Network Development
The Health Equity Work Group (HEWG) released a discussion brief, Health Equity from an Actuarial Perspective: Provider Contracting and Network Development. This discussion brief is part of a series developed by the HEWG to provide more context on issues raised in the initial discussion brief, Health Equity from an Actuarial Perspective: Questions to Explore. (September 16, 2021)
Discussion Brief–Health Equity and Health Plan Benefit Design
The Health Equity Work Group (HEWG) released a new Discussion Brief—Issue in Focus: Health Equity From an Actuarial Perspective: Health Plan Benefit Design. This discussion brief is part of a series developed by the HEWG to provide more context on issues raised in the initial discussion brief, Health Equity From an Actuarial Perspective: Questions to Explore. (July 23, 2021)
There’s Still Time to Take the Annual Volunteer Survey
The Academy’s Annual Volunteer Survey is your chance to raise your hand and serve the profession through the Academy’s public policy and professionalism mission. If you would like to join your colleagues in volunteering, please take the survey by logging in to the member section of the Academy website. The survey will close on July 30. If you have any questions about volunteering or the survey, please contact the Academy’s director of membership, Kasha Shelton, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, the Academy is using additional channels to encourage members to volunteer and further diversify our volunteer base, including reaching out to the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA). The IABA shared an email from Academy President Tom Campbell with its members who are also members of the Academy. (July 16, 2021)
Health Equity Work Group Releases Premium Pricing Discussion Brief
The Health Equity Work Group (HEWG) released the Discussion Brief–Issue in Focus: Health Equity From an Actuarial Perspective: Health Plan Pricing. This discussion brief, which focuses on questions related to pricing health insurance products, is part of a series to identify areas that may affect health equity. An introductory discussion brief provided an overview of the HEWG’s work. (May 25, 2021)
Webinar—Health Equity: An Actuarial Perspective
The Health Equity Work Group hosted a webinar to discuss important issues involving health disparities facing our country and an update on the work group’s efforts to address those concerns. (May 24, 2021)
Academy Submits Letter to NAIC Special Committee on Race and Insurance
Academy President Tom Campbell submitted a letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Special Committee on Race and Insurance on proposed charges regarding property/casualty and life insurance issues related to Workstream Three (P/C) and Workstream Four (life insurance and annuities). (May 14, 2021)
HPC Comments on Colorado Insurance Unfair Discrimination Legislation
The Health Practice Council (HPC) submitted a comment letter on a revised draft of Colorado Senate Bill 21-169, dated April 21, aimed to protect consumers from unfair discrimination in insurance practices. This letter follows up on previous HPC comments on the introduced version of the bill, submitted on March 29, and again focuses on the potential impact to health insurance. (April 30, 2021)
Academy Provides Input to NAIC on Diversity and Inclusion Issues
In a letter sent to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Academy President Tom Campbell reiterated and reinforced the Academy’s commitment to work with the NAIC’s Special (EX) Committee on Race and Insurance to address diversity and inclusion concerns pertaining to insurance coverages. The comments were made regarding recently proposed 2021 charges of the committee. (April 9, 2021)
Committee on Qualifications Revises an FAQ to the USQS
The Committee on Qualifications (COQ) has revised Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) #48 as it applies to the currently effective U.S. Qualification Standards to clarify that diversity, equity & inclusion training “may count toward the professionalism topic or business and consulting skills topic categories, depending upon how the training fits into the definition of these categories in Section 2.2.7” and to provide examples of where DEI training may count toward professionalism or be classified as business and consulting skills. The background to this is explained in the latest issue of This Week. (April 2, 2021)
Health Equity Work Group Releases Discussion Brief
The Academy’s Health Equity Work Group (HEWG) released a discussion brief, Health Equity From an Actuarial Perspective: Questions to Explore, that frames their approach to applying actuarial expertise to efforts to reduce health disparities. The brief serves as an introduction to the HEWG’s work in the following areas: health insurance benefit design, provider contracting and network development, premium pricing, and managing population health.
“This foundational document on health equity issues begins by offering questions and topics for further exploration to help identify ways in which health benefit programs might affect health equity,” said HEWG Chairperson Annette James. Read the Academy news release. (March 31, 2021)
Academy Letters Address Proposed Colorado Legislation
The Academy sent casualty, health, and life practice-area letters regarding Colorado Senate Bill 21-169, related to the legislation’s stated purpose of prohibiting unfair discrimination in insurance. The letters—from the Casualty Practice Council, the Health Practice Council, and the Life Underwriting and Risk Classification Work Group—express support for the elimination of unfair discrimination in insurance and focus on the potential impacts the bill would have on individual life insurance, health insurance, and property/casualty insurance from an actuarial perspective. (March 29, 2021)
Women’s History Month, March 2021
For Women’s History Month, the Academy’s podcast, Actuary Voices, interviews Linda Stone, the Academy’s senior pension fellow, who mother’s struggles after she was a Rosie the Riveter encouraged Linda’s commitment to ensuring women have access to retirement plans. And our Member Spotlight this month is Rhonda Ahrens, who tells us how she once “muscled” her “way into a meeting with the CEO of my company when I was probably too green to be allowed in the room.”
International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021
|On International Women’s Day, the Academy celebrated the important achievements and contributions of women to the actuarial profession, highlighting female trailblazers like Annette James, Laura Hanson, Shawna Ackerman and Cathy Murphy-Barron who have contributed to Academy’s official podcast, Actuary Voices. You should also watch our movie about women in the profession, “A Great Career for a Man?”|
‘Actuary Voices’ Podcast Features Annette James, Chairperson of the Health Equity Work Group
In this episode of the Academy’s podcast series, “Actuary Voices,” Annette James—chairperson of the Academy’s Health Equity Work Group—discusses how she became an actuary, the meteorological shocks on her journey from Trinidad and Tobago through Iowa and on to Nevada, and the importance of the work she leads on health equity—especially significant in February as we mark Black History Month. Subscribe to “Actuary Voices” via iTunes, Spotify, or other podcast services. (February 2021)
Academy Presents at CASTF ‘Book Club’ Series
The Academy made three presentations to the NAIC’s Casualty Actuarial and Statistical (C) Task Force (CASTF) at a Feb. 23 webinar as part of CASTF’s “Book Club” series to facilitate regulator training and the sharing of expertise on predictive analytics on the topic of race and insurance. Academy presenters were Dorothy Andrews, chairperson of the Data Science and Analytics Committee (DSAC); Roosevelt Mosley, DSAC member and member of the Casualty Practice Council’s (CPC) Racial Equity Task Force; and Lauren Cavanaugh, CPC vice president. (February 23, 2021)
Academy Sends Recommendation Letter for Annette James to Be a Member of the U.S. COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force
Academy President Tom Campbell sent a letter of recommendation to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Annette James, chairperson of the Academy’s Health Equity Work Group, as a candidate for appointment to the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force as put forward in a presidential executive order, Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery. (February 01, 2021)
Black History Month 2021
As we look forward to Black History Month in February, Academy President Tom Campbell noted “the Academy explicitly stated last year our unwavering support for those who seek to bring fair and equal opportunities to all” and reaffirmed the commitment made by the 2020 Academy President D. Joeff Williams condemning racism and standing resolutely with those who value equality and inclusion, both within the profession and in society at large. The Academy will work within the profession and with stakeholders to continue to engage in a public discourse on race, diversity, and inclusion, and encourages our members to stand up for equal justice for all and to oppose all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias whenever you encounter them. (This Week, January 29, 2021)
Take an Adventure With the ‘Magic School Bus’
The Academy worked with Scholastic to create “The Magic School Bus Takes a Risk: A Book about Probability,” a custom storybook that aims to support diversity in the actuarial profession by emphasizing the career possibilities that arise from math education with characters from underrepresented groups.
The Academy and many of our members who have purchased the book have shared copies with schools and other community-based organizations to introduce young children—especially traditionally underrepresented populations, as the Academy did by providing the book to all DC public school children in Grades 3 to 5—to the profession at a young age and encourage them to consider careers in math.
Corporate sponsorships are available for companies or organizations that would like to make bulk donations in their communities. Such sponsorships may include adding your company logo on the back cover, branding added to the letter of introduction, and Scholastic’s assistance with distribution in local schools. Contact us here for more information.
Academy Presents to NAIC on Health Equity, Life Issues, Climate Risk
The Academy made several presentations to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in Dec. 2020, including at the NAIC’s Fall National Meeting. Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello presented Dec. 2 on behalf of the Academy’s Health Equity Work Group to the NAIC’s Special (EX) Committee on Race and Insurance. Annette James, the work group’s chairperson, submitted comments to the special committee highlighting the work group’s efforts to address health disparities. Mary Bahna-Nolan also submitted comments Dec. 10 to NAIC’s Special (EX) Committee on Race and Insurance.
Academy Presents at NCOIL on Race and Diversity
Academy volunteers presented at the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Annual Meeting during the Special Committee on Race in Insurance Underwriting’s session. Dorothy Andrews, chairperson of the Data Science and Analytics Committee, presented on behalf of the committee and provided an update on its ongoing work relevant to NCOIL’s examination of these issues. Casualty Vice President Lauren Cavanaugh presented on behalf of the Casualty Practice Council, and Mary Bahna-Nolan presented on the issue from a life perspective. (December 09, 2020)
Academy Comments to NAIC Special Committee on Race and Insurance
Academy Casualty Vice President Lauren Cavanaugh addressed the NAIC’s Special Committee on Race and Insurance on Nov. 12, speaking to her prepared comments previously submitted, covering actuarial guidance, disparate impact, and data quality. Cavanaugh recommended consideration of independent organizations to examine and certify third-party data for hidden biases, accuracy, and relevance. She also described for commissioners and regulators several actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs) relevant to actuarial practice in areas being looked at by the special committee. (November 12, 2020)
Capitol Forum: Exploring Health Equity in a Time of COVID-19 and Beyond
In this webinar, a panel of experts share their insights and activities related to data and quality measurement, innovative provider and payer models designed to meet individual- and community-level medical and nonmedical needs, and opportunities for cross sector collaboration. (September 14, 2020)
Academy Letter to NAIC Addresses Diversity and Inclusion
Academy President D. Joeff Williams sent a letter on behalf of the Academy to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offering comments to NAIC’s Special Committee on Race and Insurance. (September 10, 2020)
HealthCheck Q&A—The Academy’s New Health Equity Work Group
The Academy’s Health Practice Council recently created the Health Equity Work Group. The formation of this work group was prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent events which have shined a light on some of the health inequities faced by minorities in the United States. HealthCheck did a Q&A with Work Group Chairperson Annette James on some of the key issues the new work group hopes to address. (October 2020)
Statement About Recent Events from the Academy
D. Joeff Williams, President: “We want to take a moment to mark the protests that have taken place since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Combined with the disparity in how COVID-19 has affected communities of color, recent events reflect poorly on our country’s commitment to equality for all. The Academy stands resolutely with those who value equality and inclusion, both within the profession and in society at large. We condemn racism and encourage our members to stand up for equal justice for all, and to oppose all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias whenever you encounter them.” (June 05, 2020)