Keynote (In-person access only)
National Political Reporter and Analyst, Co-Author of Peril
Robert Costa is a former PBS “Washington Week” moderator and co-author with Bob Woodward of the just-published book, Peril. Costa has covered the White House, Congress, and campaigns for the Washington Post since January 2014, and he has also been a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He has been at the forefront of the biggest stories in American politics over the past decade—from the rise of President Trump to congressional showdowns—which provides him unique perspective to discuss the battle for power ahead of the elections in 2022 and 2024.
Plenary Sessions (Available to virtual and in-person attendees)
Our agenda featured plenary sessions that explored these cross-practice issues.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) – Engaging the Public Policy Discourse Over Insuring Against Inequities
During the historic national reckoning of racial justice in the year and a half preceding the meeting, there had been a fundamental reexamination of many aspects of our civil society including economic inclusion. Concerns over DE&I regarding financial security programs and systems, including insurance coverages and retirement programs, led to significant public policy debates, and the Academy responded to those efforts as well as proactively engaging its own exploration of causes of disparities and examining concerns over the appropriateness of data and assumptions used in actuarial practice and potential solutions. Actuaries are exceptionally well qualified to address many of the complex factors that go into issues surrounding risk classification, data usage, and assumption setting that underly this discussion. Attendees joined the Academy for this cross-practice discussion of the public policy developments under consideration with the potential to affect actuarial practice in fundamental ways. This session featured remarks by National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Vice President, NAIC Special (EX) Committee on Race and Insurance Co-Vice Chair, and Missouri Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers; Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi, acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration; and Dora Hughes, senior advisor at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and presentations and a panel discussion featuring Seong-min Eom, vice chairperson of the Academy's Data Science and Analytics Committee; Jeff Johnson, chairperson of the LPC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force; Annette James, chairperson of the Academy’s Health Equity Work Group; Sherry Chan, incoming Academy vice president, pension; and Lauren Cavanaugh, Academy vice president, casualty.
Level Up? The Progression of Insurance Regulation Spanning the International, Federal, and State Levels
This session played across the global standard-setting, federal oversight, and state regulatory action levels on issues such as solvency considerations such as group capital insurance capital standards, including a look at the Academy’s well-regarded research on scalar methodologies. It also offered insights into other workstreams being concurrently developed at all three levels on issues like climate-related financial disclosures. Attendees heard from key stakeholders on the latest cutting-edge developments from all three levels, including insights from Romain Paserot, International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) deputy secretary general, Tom Sullivan, senior associate director, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Ryan Workman, assistant director, international relations and policy, NAIC; Steve Jackson, Ph.D., assistant director for research (Public Policy), American Academy of Actuaries, and Maryellen Coggins, president, American Academy of Actuaries.
COVID-19: A Prognosis of the Pandemic’s Implications Based on Lessons Learned Thus Far
The COVID-19 pandemic had far-ranging consequences, not only from a public health perspective but economically. Actuaries faced unique challenges in their practice to assess COVID-19’s impacts and to adapt to ever-changing dynamics in an environment of unknowns. Attendees joined the Academy for a cross-practice examination of some of those challenges even as they were still unfolding, the public policy responses intended to address them, and a forecast of potential further regulator remedies. Our panel discussion featured Kelly Anderson, assistant professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy; Robert Hartwig, director of the Risk & Uncertainty Management Center at the University of South Carolina; Rebecca Katz, professor and director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center; Andrew Stokes, assistant professor, Global Health, Boston University School of Public Health; and Daniel Reddy, chief executive officer of Club Vita US.
This plenary session featured opening remarks by Cathy O’Neil, renowned data scientist, Bloomberg Opinion columnist, and author of the New York Times bestseller Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. She related her perspective as a professed “data skeptic” on the risks of embedded bias and unintended consequences of algorithms and the ethical challenges they pose. With a deep background in quantitative and risk analysis, O’Neil previously founded an algorithmic auditing company and was a hedge fund quantitative analyst during the late-2000s credit crisis. Her remarks were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ken Kent, chairperson of the Joint Committee on the Code of Professional Conduct, and featuring Dorothy Andrews, chairperson of the Academy’s Data Science and Analytics Committee and senior behavioral data scientist and actuary at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC); Annette James, chairperson of the Academy’s Health Equity Work Group and principal at Novarest; and Jim Guszcza, chief data scientist at Deloitte Consulting. They discussed the potential professionalism implications of the issues raised by O’Neil before opening the floor to questions from in-person and virtual attendees.
Introduction and Conversation: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Actuarial Groups
Representatives from six organizations dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the actuarial profession took part in a plenary-session conversation on the work being accomplished to advance DE&I within the actuarial profession. The session began with Jason Leppin, executive director of the Actuarial Foundation, who spoke about its Math Motivators program, which provides free math tutoring services to students who might not otherwise be able to afford it. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by2020-21 Academy President Tom Campbell and featuring speakers from actuarial organizations—Amber Rohde, Network of Actuarial Women and Allies; Daniel Fernandez, president, Organization of Latino Actuaries; Dwayne Husbands, president, International Association of Black Actuaries; Jake Akstins, co-founder, Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries; Sherry Chan, incoming Academy pension vice president and co-founder of Abacus Actuaries. They discussed the work they are doing to address challenges facing their members to be successful in the profession and the industries in which they practice.