In Focus contributors are distinguished subject matter specialists from AIR's multidisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers, actuaries and statisticians, software developers and business analysts. Our internationally respected experts come from many different backgrounds, with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, but they are all innovative thinkers at the leading edge of their chosen professions.

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Following are contributors for our blog:

Boyd Zapatka

Boyd Zapatka was a Senior Risk Consultant in AIR’s Consulting and Client Services group in London. Boyd was responsible for leading and managing client service relationships with AIR’s London Market clients, assisting with software training, migration, and integration. He also oversaw AIR’s Data Services Team in London. Boyd holds an M.S. in Geographic Information Science and a B.S. in Geography and Environmental Science from Clark University. Boyd left AIR in 2021.

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Brandie Andrews

Brandie Andrews was a Vice President within AIR's Consulting and Client Services Group. She joined AIR in 2006 and was the leader of the Regulatory and Public Policy market segment, ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements of catastrophe models and assisting clients in dealing with regulators and rating agencies. She taught classes on exposure data, interpretation of model results and the financial model at the AIR Institute. Prior to joining AIR, Ms. Andrews spent over ten years in the actuarial field in ratemaking and reserving. She earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Wheaton College and has passed five Casualty Actuarial Society Exams. Brandie is no longer with AIR.

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Brendan Flaherty

Brendan Flaherty was a senior risk consultant in the consulting and client services group. Previously, Brendan worked for Mercer, as an actuarial consultant, specializing in long term financial forecasting and risk management strategies for U.S. pension plans. Brendan earned a BA in mathematics from Stonehill College. He has left Verisk.

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Brent Poliquin

Brent Poliquin is an Assistant Vice President in the insurance-linked securities market segment in AIR's Consulting and Client Services group. Since 2008, Brent has been involved in the modeling of more than 30 catastrophe bond issuances covering a range of covered perils, regions, and trigger types. He is also responsible for the continued development of AIR's catastrophe bond database and analysis services, and contributed to a risk financing initiative for fifteen developing nations in the South Pacific.

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Bria Kordi

Bahareh (Bria) Kordi joined AIR in 2012 as an Engineer in our Research and Modeling Department. Most recently, Bria was a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Lab (BLWTL) at The University of Western Ontario, where she investigated dynamic wind loading on low-rise structures. Bria earned her Ph.D. in Wind Engineering from The University of Western Ontario, Canada, and M.S. and B.S. in Civil Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and Amirkabir University, respectively, both in Tehran, Iran. Bria is no longer with AIR.

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Cagdas Kafali

Dr. Cagdas Kafali is Senior Vice President in AIR’s Research and Modeling group, working primarily on developing vulnerability models for various insured properties subjected to atmospheric hazards. He has been involved in the development of many of AIR’s wind models, particularly the Asia-Pacific typhoon models and the European Extratropical Cyclone model, and more recently the U.S. and Canada wind storm models. Cagdas holds an M.S. in Structural Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Cornell University with a minor in Applied Mathematics. In his dissertation he developed a probabilistic methodology for assessing performance of structural/nonstructural systems in a multi-hazard environment.

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Caitlin Plunkett

Caitlin Plunkett was a Senior Risk Consultant in AIR's London office. Prior to AIR, Caitlin worked as an analyst at a Boston based financial services company. Caitlin received an M.B.A. from the Boston College Carroll School of Management. She studied Psychology, Economics and Accounting as an undergraduate at the College of the Holy Cross. Caitlin is no longer with AIR.

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Carol Aplin

Dr. Carol Aplin was a senior scientist in the research and modeling group. Previously, Carol was employed by the homeland protection systems group at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where she worked on a variety of programs centered around improving homeland defense, including deployment of advanced sensors and assessment of cyber risk at federal departments and agencies. Carol earned her BS in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in nuclear engineering. Carol has left Verisk.

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Caroline McMullan

Dr. Caroline McMullan is a director in the research and modeling group in Verisk’s London office. In this role, she has worked closely with clients regarding model software, hazards, and understanding the impact of model updates on client losses. She has presented to international insurance and scientific audiences on many of Verisk’s earthquake models and on uncertainty and communication within the catastrophe modeling industry. Caroline holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she previously worked as a postdoctoral research scientist and published several peer-reviewed scientific papers. She also holds a master’s degree in earth sciences from the University of Oxford.

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Chad Williams

Chad Williams is director of cyber strategy. Previously, Chad worked for Cisco, as a security architect and security team lead. He received his classical training in the U.S Army working for the NSA. Chad earned an MS in cybersecurity and an MBA from The University of Maryland. He holds CISSP and CEH certifications.ns.

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Chenying Zhang

Chenying Zhang is a manager in the consulting and client services group at Verisk’s Beijing Office. In this role, she works closely with clients to effectively manage their risk workflows using Verisk software solutions, including helping them conduct catastrophe analyses, interpret model results, provide software training, and optimize usage of Verisk models. She joined Verisk after graduating from Stanford University in 2016.

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Chris Bednarczyk

Chris Bednarczyk joined AIR in 2013 as a Scientist in our Research Department. He worked primarily on developing severe thunderstorm models for Australia and Europe. He has also assisted with typhoon modeling in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Before AIR, Chris was a Graduate Research Assistant at Texas Tech University. Prior to this, Chris was a Visiting Scientist at Developmental Testbed center at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Valparaiso University and a Master of Science in Atmospheric Science from Texas Tech University. Chris left AIR in 2021 AIR.

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Christian Hughes

Christian Hughes is a lead on the management and professional liability product development team at ISO®, a Verisk company that supplies data, analytics, and decision-support services for the property/casualty insurance industry.

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Christina Geller

Christina Geller joined AIR in July 2014 as an analyst in the Data Management Group with the Research team. Prior to working for AIR, Christina worked as a GIS Intern for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in Worcester, MA and a GIS Intern for the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, DC where she transitioned the department from Access Databases to a GIS Server System. Christina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Geography in 2013 and her Master of Science in Geographic Information Sciences in 2014 from Clark University. Christina is no longer with AIR.

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Claire Pontbriand

Claire Pontbriand is a scientist in the Seismology division of our Research department. Prior to joining AIR in 2013, she was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Virginia. Claire earned an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Marine Geology & Geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Claire left AIR in 2018.

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Colette Karakashian

Colette Karakashian is a director in the product management group at Verisk. She leads the efforts of further improving client experience of Sequel and Touchstone, and she leads the product management efforts of the cloud-native Enterprise Exposure Manager. Colette previously led a team focused on Touchstone workflows, implementations, and migrations for London and continental Europe. She holds an MS in geophysical hazards from University College London and a BS in geography from the University of Nottingham. Colette is pursuing a BE in Engineering from The Open University.

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Corie Rand

Corie Rand joined AIR in 2011 as a Marketing Events Manager in our Marketing Department. Prior to AIR, she was a certified senior level Event Management business professional. Most recently, Corie worked as Director of Events for Reed Business Information. Corie has earned her Master's in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada, and a B.S in Management Studies from Boston University. Corie left AIR in 2016.

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Courtney Brown

Courtney Candidio is a manager for Verisk’s extreme event solutions team. She is primarily responsible for providing support and service to insurer clients by working with them to perform catastrophe analyses, interpret analysis results, and optimize modeling workflows, and by providing software training. Prior to joining Verisk, Courtney worked as an underwriter. She holds a BA in economics from the College of Holy Cross.

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Daniel Raizman

Daniel Raizman is a manager in Verisk’s Global Resilience Practice on the extreme event solutions team at Veris, providing governments and non-governmental organizations with solutions to help better prepare for and recover from disasters. In his previous role at Verisk, Daniel worked with primary insurers to assess their global catastrophe loss potential for residential, commercial, and workers’ compensation portfolios through the use of Verisk software and models. Daniel holds an MSc in geospatial analysis from University College London and a BA in French, economics, and Italian from Vassar College.

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Daniel Rees

Daniel Rees is a senior scientist in Verisk’s research group. Prior to joining Verisk, Daniel worked as an assistant tree surveyor for township of Maplewood in New Jersey. He earned both a BA in geography and an MA in geographic information sciences for development and environment from Clark University, Worcester MA.

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Dave Harris

Dave Harris joined AIR Worldwide in September 2012 as a Client Services Associate. He graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2011 with a BSc in Geography and then continued at University College London in 2012, where he earned a MSc in Geophysical Hazards. Dave is no longer with AIR.

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David Lalonde

David Lalonde is Senior Vice President in the Consulting and Client Services group, the members of which work one-on-one with clients to help them understand their risk profile and identify where and how catastrophe loss information can best be used in decision-making. David has a wealth of experience in the securitization of insurance risk and the use of dynamic financial analysis models for pricing, reserving, and corporate planning. He leads AIR's Decision Analytics initiatives and manages the Regulation and Rating Agency teams. He received his B.Math. (Honours) in Actuarial Science with Statistics from the University of Waterloo. He has appeared as an expert witness in rate arbitration hearings and has provided catastrophe modeling expertise on due diligence teams. (Note: David retired from AIR in 2014)

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Dennis Costello

Dennis Costello is a senior product manager for Verisk’s extreme event solutions team. Prior to Verisk, Dennis was a project manager for Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University.

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Doug Fullam

Doug Fullam was director, life markets at Verisk. Prior to Verisk, Doug worked as an actuarial associate for Towers Watson in Boston, MA. In addition, Doug is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries. He earned a BA in mathematics - actuarial science and BA in economics from the University of Connecticut. Doug left Verisk in 2022.

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Ehsan Kianirad

Ehsan Kianirad Ehsan Kianirad joined AIR in 2014 and is a Senior Engineer with the Earthquake Engineering group in the Research and Modeling Department. Ehsan earned his Ph.D. from Northeastern University and his M.Sc from the University of Tehran. Ehsan is no longer with AIR.

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