Remarks from Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello on Receiving the Wynn Kent Public Communication Award at the 2023 CCA Annual Meeting
Thank you again for bestowing upon me the Wynn Kent Public Communication Award. I wish I were able to join you at the CCA annual meeting to accept it in person. But since I cannot, I wanted to be sure to let you know how honored I am to receive this prestigious and meaningful award, especially when I look at the list of prior recipients.
The mere existence of this award is a testament to the importance of our profession. The work of actuaries touches the lives of every American, including affecting who has access to insurance coverage for their life, health, home, or auto, and how much they have to pay for that coverage, safeguarding financial and health security during retirement through pensions, Social Security, and Medicare, and helping ensure that the benefits promised to them can be fulfilled.
Actuaries take these responsibilities seriously. But it’s not enough to do good work. We also need to be able to communicate our work to others, including to our actuarial colleagues, to others in our organizations, and sometimes even to the public—the people we’re trying to serve—either directly or through the media or by advising policymakers.
I’ve been fortunate enough to spend more than 20 years doing just that—translating often complex actuarial and public policy concepts into everyday language for the public, the media, policymakers, and other policy experts. Whether it’s been in my role as the American Academy of Actuaries’ senior health fellow or as a member of various multidisciplinary commissions or advisory panels, I’ve sought to help people understand the work that actuaries do and give the actuarial perspective of the effects of public policies and changes to those policies on Americans.
To be clear, even though I’m receiving this year’s award, I’ve had tremendous help along the way that must be recognized. I’ve relied heavily on input from Academy volunteers, other actuaries, and even experts outside the profession, in many efforts to effectively communicate with the broader world. The list of helpers is too long to enumerate, so I’ll just leave it at a big thank-you to everyone for your great work and for helping me convey it to others. And thank you to the CCA, the Actuarial Foundation, and the Wynn Kent Public Communication Award Committee. I am truly honored.