Meet the Candidates - David Cummings

FCAS - November 2002
ACAS - November 2001

Candidate Information

Biographical Information


United States Air Force Academy, B.S. in Mathematics and Operations Research, Distinguished Graduate

Rice University, M.A. in Computational and Applied Mathematics

Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Executive Development Program

Current Employment:

Chief Actuary and Head of Analytics, Senior Vice President, USAA Property & Casualty Group, San Antonio, Texas (2017 – present)

CAS Activities and Publications:

  • Risk Management Committee, 2019 - Present
  • Board of Directors, 2018-2021
  • Vice President of Research, 2014-2017
  • Chair, Research Oversight Committee, 2013
  • Program Planning Committee, 2012-2014
  • Exam Committee, 2003-2007
  • Frees, Meyers, and Cummings, “Predictive Modeling of Multi-Peril Homeowners Insurance”, Variance, Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Other Professional Designations:

  • Chair, Joint Risk Management Section Council (CAS/SOA/AAA), 2011
  • Member, Casualty Practice Council (AAA), 2014-2017
  • The Actuarial Foundation
    • Emeritus Trustee (2012-Current)
    • Trustee (2006-2011)
    • Chair, Consumer Education Committee (2006-2009)

Other Professional Designations:

  • Member, American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), 2003
  • Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA), 2013
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), 2007
Additional Biographical Information

Employment History - Prior Employers:

  • Insurance Services Office (ISO), 2008-2017
    • Senior Vice President, Insurance Operations & Analytics
    • Vice President & Chief Actuary, ISO Innovative Analytics
  • State Farm Insurance Companies, 2000-2008
    • Director, Enterprise Risk Management
    • Manager, State Farm Research Center at University of Illinois
    • Pricing Manager
    • Actuarial Analyst
  • United States Air Force, 1994 – 2000
    • Officer, Scientific Analyst
    • Air Force Personnel Center
    • Air Force Information Warfare Center

Membership and Activities in Other Organizations:

  • Vice-Chair, Board of Directors for several USAA subsidiaries (2017 – Current)
  • Member, Board of Governors, USAA Foundation and USAA Educational Foundation (2022 – Current)
  • Invited Lecturer, Advanced Risk Management Program, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania (2022 and 2023)

Civic Activities:

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, various volunteer and leadership positions, including:
    • Full-time missionary in Norway, 1990-1992 o Bishop, Urbana University Ward, 2005-2007
      • Leader of a congregation of about 100 people
    • President, Peoria Illinois Stake, 2008-2013
      • Responsible for all ecclesiastical and administrative activities for 13 congregations serving 3500 members in Central Illinois
    • Boy Scouts of America, various volunteer and leadership positions from 1997 thru 2014


  • Frees, Meyers, and Cummings, “Insurance Ratemaking and a Gini Index,” Journal of Risk and Insurance, June 2014
  • Frees, Meyers, and Cummings, “Summarizing Insurance Scores Using a Gini Index”, Journal of the American Statistical Association 106, 2011
  • Frees, Meyers, and Cummings, “Dependent Multi-Peril Ratemaking Models,” ASTIN Bulletin 40(2), 2010
  • Cummings, “The Business Impact of Advanced Analytics”, Contingencies, Nov/Dec 2009

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Recipient (with co-authors) of 2015 ARIA Prize, awarded by the CAS for the paper “Summarizing Insurance Scores Using a Gini Index” referenced above.
  • Meritorious Service Medal, US Air Force, 2000
Why do you Want to be the President-Elect?

I am honored to be nominated to serve our profession as President-Elect. I see this opportunity as much more than simply an opportunity to give back to this profession that has given so much to me. I want to serve in order to strengthen our profession to become even more respected and influential than it is today. I want to help lead the CAS through this time of economic, environmental and social challenges, so that actuaries will be highly valued for many years to come.

My motivation to serve is linked to how I joined the actuarial profession following my career as an Air Force officer. As a cadet at the Air Force Academy, I studied what it meant to be part of a profession, not just to have a career. I learned that a profession had key attributes, including:

  • a unique body of knowledge,
  • standards of entry,
  • a code of ethics,
  • a service orientation to the profession, and
  • a sanctioning or credentialing organization.

I learned to value these attributes in the “profession of arms” that I was preparing to join at that time. Then years later, as I prepared to choose a new career, I explored several analytical career fields that were of interest to me. The actuarial path stood out because it is more than career – it is a profession. Each of these attributes exists in the CAS community today. As President-Elect and in subsequent leadership roles, I am committed to strengthening our profession in each of the key attributes listed above.

I believe we are unique among the wide and expanding world of analytical careers today. There are many people pursuing analytical careers, but there are few who have the benefit of belonging to a profession like ours. Unfortunately, many people in analytical careers aren’t aware of or don’t recognize the value of belonging to and sustaining this sort of professionalism.

It is a key responsibility of CAS leaders to ensure the value of our profession remains relevant to our current members and attractive to others we want and need to join us. We also need to increase the value we bring to our employers, principals, and other key stakeholders during this time of change. I look forward to working closely with the Board, other member leaders, and the CAS staff to advance and strengthen our profession in this way.

What Qualities and Experience Would You Bring to the Office of the President-Elect?

I have had a variety of experiences that have shaped how I lead and have prepared me for service as President-Elect and subsequent roles. My leadership style is built on the foundation of the core values I learned in the Air Force: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do. Throughout my actuarial leadership roles, I have also fostered collaboration, innovation, and execution, as illustrated by the following examples.

Since 2017, I have served as Chief Actuary and Head of Analytics for USAA’s Property/Casualty Group. In this role, I lead a large and diverse team composed of actuaries and other analytical and data practitioners. We work together to provide data-driven insights across the entire P&C value chain. I have seen many examples of how business leaders today expect more from us, as the appetite and pace for data and analytics continues to accelerate. I have successfully met these demands by leveraging the unique knowledge and experience of our actuaries, in partnership with business leaders and other data analytic teammates.

My role at ISO provided a unique opportunity to interact with companies across our industry and support their efforts to innovate their pricing models. I gained an appreciation for the wide variety of business models that exist in our competitive marketplace, as well as the many roles that actuaries play in bringing those business models to life. I listened to their needs and proactively sought feedback to ensure we provided the value they expected from us.

Outside of work, I have led large volunteer-run organizations, where I have seen the impact that motivated and passionate volunteers can have on individuals and communities. Through this experience, I learned the value of connecting with and encouraging volunteers, and the importance of building and strengthening the culture of service. I also experienced how well-designed tools and support from full-time staff can magnify the volunteers’ impact many times over.

I have served the CAS in roles that cover almost every aspect of its core functions, including admissions, research, continuing education, and administration. This has given me a deep understanding of how the CAS delivers all that we need it to deliver, as well as a commitment to help it become better going forward. As VP of Research, I re-shaped and re-invigorated our research committees, working parties, and funded research programs to improve collaboration with our members and professional researchers, and to deliver more timely, valued research products. During my time on the CAS Board, I participated in setting the vision and expectations for new CAS staff leadership to prepare us for the future. My Board service also strengthened my commitment to listen to members and ensure diverse points of view are represented in Board discussions and decisions.

Candidate Issue(s) Identification and Discussion

We sit at a unique moment in the history of our profession. In the past 3 years, we have seen unprecedented economic changes that have challenged us. Over the past year, we experienced levels of inflation that exceeded those experienced by all, but the most seasoned, of practicing actuaries. We have had to adapt our methods and our mindsets to respond to a world in which recent history may not help much in forecasting the future.

We have seen increasing costs of catastrophes due to a combination of inflation, exposure growth, and climate change. Our industry is particularly exposed to this combination of economic and climate forces.

Already we see increased costs of natural catastrophe risk transfers and limited availability of insurance in areas that are experiencing increased catastrophe losses. Our profession can play a key role in developing new solutions to quantify and mitigate this risk, to the benefit of our whole society. At the same time, advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence open new opportunities. They also raise new questions of “ethical AI” and responsible modeling that challenge both our technical expertise and our professional judgment.

These are just a handful of the many challenging forces facing the actuarial profession today. I am inspired when I think about the opportunities ahead of us – to foster the creativity and innovation that will be needed to meet these and other challenges. As a colleague of mine is fond of saying, “If this environment doesn’t make you excited to be an actuary, you’re in the wrong profession!”

To succeed in this environment, we will need curious minds and diverse perspectives. We need to attract more people to our profession from diverse backgrounds, while continuing to maintain our high standards. We will need to engage the creativity and enthusiasm of younger actuaries with the experience and wisdom of more tenured actuaries. The CAS has a long legacy of fostering this sort of collaboration, which I have benefited from throughout my career. We can collaborate in a way that makes all of our organizations more resilient, and more ready to innovate in our competitive marketplace.

Coming together in this way may be counter to the broader societal trend of divisiveness and confrontation. But it has always been core to our CAS community. It is essential that we renew and strengthen our ability to come together, to discuss differing points of view with professionalism and respect. We must learn from each other to face these challenges and create the solutions that will power our industry for years to come.