International Section in the Spotlight

Ambassador Program + Member Social Networking Wendy Kwan

The International Section strives to connect actuaries around the world. Its main purpose is to encourage and facilitate professional development of its members who work in various lines of business such as international insurance, pensions and social security programs. While we mainly focus on content outside of North America, we welcome all members, even those who do not practice in the global space but are simply interested in learning. Like other Society of Actuaries (SOA) sections, we support member education and information exchange through various platforms such as meetings, seminars, newsletters and research studies. The International Section’s main projects and initiatives include our Ambassador Program, Member Social Networking, and providing worldly content and speakers at the SOA Annual Meeting & Exhibit.

The Ambassador Program began in 1993 to improve SOA objectives outside of North America. The program allowed the SOA to identify and develop international initiatives to help satisfy the professional needs of our peers working abroad, particularly in regions that lacked actuarial expertise. Several regional coordinators who act as liaisons between country ambassadors and the International Section support the Ambassador Program. Today, the Ambassador Program extends to more than 30 countries on various continents, including South America, Asia and Africa. The program helps grow our profession in underdeveloped areas, functions as a valuable resource for our global actuaries and links the SOA to other national actuarial organizations.

In the early years of the profession, actuaries working abroad were not as common compared to present day. The International Section originally was formed to help create a community for our “lonely” peers across the pond. The section served as a platform for actuaries to connect and network with fellow colleagues around the world in similar work arrangements. While the purpose of the International Section evolved with increased globalization, we still greatly value the importance of human connection. This year, the International Section will be hosting a series of networking events around the world to promote colleague connections. The section has already hosted two successful events with the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Section in New York City. We hope to continue expanding our networking activities for our members in other cities in North America, Europe and Asia, because (let’s be honest with ourselves) making friends as adults is hard without a little push.

In addition, the International Section proudly produces a wide array of global content in various mediums such as our newsletters, webinars and meetings; be sure to check our website for a comprehensive library of content. Some examples of topics recently covered in our newsletter include “Actuarial Development in Bulgaria,” “The Nascent Actuarial Community of Sri Lanka” and “The CIMA Market: Insurance in French Speaking Sub-Saharan Africa: Market Overview.”

We look forward to seeing all of you at our next networking event. Join the International Section if you haven’t done so already! Membership allows you to stay informed with global actuarial content and grants you exclusive access to member-only competitions and networking opportunities. Membership is only $25—that’s less than the cost of two cocktails in New York City!

Wendy Kwan, FSA, MAAA, is an actuary at TriNet in New York.