Meet the Candidate - Frank H. Chang

FCAS - May 2009
ACAS - November 2007

Candidate Information

Biographical Information

Education:

B.A. Music Composition, UC San Diego, 1997
B.A. Mathematics, UC San Diego, 1997
Ph.D. Mathematics, UC San Diego, 2004

Current Employment:

Vice President, Applied Science, Uber Technologies, Inc.

CAS Activities and Publications:

  • Variance Editorial Board, Associate Editor (various roles since 2009-current)
  • Statistical Rethinking Study Group (2020-current)
  • iCAS Board of Directors (2018-2019)
  • Board of Directors (2017-2019)
  • Valuation Topics Subcommittee, Member, (2014-2017)
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis Committee, Member, (2014-2017)
  • Automated Vehicles Task Force, Member, 2014
  • Examination Committee, Member, 2009 – 2014
  • Committee on Valuation, Finance, and Investments, Member, 2013 – 2014
  • Investment Committee, Member, 2009 – 2013
  • Syllabus Committee, Member, 2009 – 2011
  • Variance Editorial Board, Editor, 2008 – 2009

Other Actuarial Organizations:

IABA, Speaker, 2015 Annual Meeting
Chinese Actuarial Society, Member, 2007 – 2009

Other Professional Designations:

Certified Litigation Management Professional, 2012

Additional Biographical Information

Employment History - Prior Employers:

Lead Actuary, Google, 2012 – 2014
Assistant Actuary, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, 2008 – 2012
The Motley Fool, Coverage Analyst (contract), 2007 – 2010
Applied Underwriters, Technical Analyst, 2007
Senior Actuarial Analyst, Esurance, 2005 – 2007

Membership and Activities in Other Organizations:

Litigation Management Institute, Professor, 2012-2021
RIMS, the risk management society (rims.org), Panelist, 2016
Claims and Litigation Management (theclm.org), Panelist, 2015 Annual Meeting
Claims and Litigation Management (theclm.org), ADR Committee, 2013-2015

Civic Activities:

Assistant Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America (Troop 346)
Volunteer, Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program (ecaprogram.org)

Why do you want to be the President-Elect?

First and foremost, I want to serve out of gratitude. The preparation I received through exams, meetings, webinars, and experience in the CAS community has helped me become the leader I am today. I want to show my gratitude and give back by helping in an impactful way.

Second, I believe I can make a difference as President Elect.

I have been a staunch advocate for actuarial employment in “non-traditional” area, including risk management and general data science. In the past decade, I have built actuarial teams at companies where no actuaries previously were employed, and have seen many companies follow suit to hire actuaries of their own. As President Elect, I will work with CAS Leadership to increase and expand awareness of our profession and of the value of our training to all employers.

I have seen how powerful our traditional actuarial judgment can be when amplified through modern tools, techniques, and technology. I would push for us as a profession to modernize, so we can be prepared for the future, while also preserving the beautiful elements that make us actuaries.

Finally, while I am both happy and grateful to be an actuary, chance was a large factor for how I landed in the profession. This story holds true for quite a few talented actuaries I know, and it may be true for you. At the same time, we continue to hear of students who eschew studying actuarial science to pursue statistics or computer engineering, citing perceptions about the nature of our work, the number of exams, and employability. Aside from the perception problem, we are missing out on an opportunity to bring more talent and diversity of ideas into our profession. I believe that we can address both perception and reality and want to be part of the leadership team that does this.

What qualities and experience would you bring to the office of the President-Elect?

I have many years of leadership experience across insurance and tech companies and have been one of the few dozen pioneers for non-traditional actuarial employment. In addition, I lead both US and international teams and, more relevantly, a blended team of actuaries and non-actuaries working closely together. These experiences provide me take a broader view of the CAS and our value across insurance, risk management, and the wide field of data science. This will be a valuable input into the strategic vision of the CAS.

Within the CAS, I have volunteered across various task forces and committees, including exams (joint and CAS), syllabus, research, finance, investments, and emerging risks. I served three years on the Board of Directors and two years on the Board of the CAS Institute. Through these experiences, I’ve learned a lot about the generous volunteer work that keeps the CAS running, as well as how things get done within CAS leadership.

Finally, on a personal note, I am a lifelong learner and this quality has helped me adapt to the needs of those whom I lead or work with. I’m grateful for the kind, experienced actuaries who have helped mentor, coach, refine, or guide me both in my career and my work with the CAS. I hope to continue to learn and develop while contributing to the CAS as President-Elect.

Candidate Issue(s) Identification and Discussion

Quick responses provided below. Please follow-up with questions to the Candidate if you would like a more detailed response:

Expanding employment of actuaries: It’s not about changing who we are, but changing how employers perceive us. This is valuable to all members, current and future.

Future actuaries: We have both a pipeline and a perception problem. At the same time, the CAS runs on the talent and character of our member-volunteers – we need to fix the problems and not leave the sustainability of our model to chance.

Use of modern technology and techniques: We should encourage familiarization with modern tools, techniques, and technology to expand our toolkit, while maintaining our professional standards:

  • We need to stop single-threading embarrassingly parallel problems, often manually done with an intern or an assistant analyst.
  • At the same time, actuaries have strong judgment and pragmatism and can be trusted not to use multi-arm bandits when credibility will do.

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