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 is a Senior Risk Consultant in AIR’s Consulting and Client Services group in London. Boyd is responsible for leading and managing client service relationships with AIR’s London Market clients, assisting with software training, migration, and integration. He also oversees 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.

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Brandie Andrews

Brandie Andrews is a Vice President within AIR's Consulting and Client Services Group. She has been with AIR since 2006 and is 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 has 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.

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Brendan Flaherty

Brendan Flaherty joined AIR as a Senior Risk Consultant in our 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 B.A. in mathematics from Stonehill College.

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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.

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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 is a Senior Risk Consultant in AIR's London office. Ms. Plunkett works with UK and Continental Europe insurance companies to perform catastrophe loss analyses, interpret model results, and optimize usage of AIR's models. This includes providing software training and guidance on integration of AIR's suite of products. She is additionally a primary resource in London focused on the development of AIR's cyber risk model. 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.

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Carol Aplin

Carol Aplin joined AIR as a Senior Scientist in our 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 B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Nuclear Engineering

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Caroline McMullan

Caroline McMullan joined AIR’s London team in September 2011 after working as a postdoctoral research scientist. Leveraging her background in Earth sciences, Caroline works on a range of AIR’s geophysical-based models and helps clients understand model updates. She recently worked on a public risk project for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), during which she investigated the trends in normalized global economic losses from natural hazards and presented the results at the UNISDR Conference in Geneva in 2016. Caroline holds an undergraduate master’s degree in earth sciences from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in paleoceanography and climatology from the University of Cambridge.

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Chad Williams

Chad Williams joined AIR as the 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 M.S. in Cybersecurity and an MBA from The University of Maryland. He holds CISSP and CEH certifications.

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Chenying Zhang

Chenying Zhang is a risk consultant in AIR’s Beijing Office. In this role, she works closely with clients to effectively manage their risk workflows using AIR’s software solutions, including perform catastrophe analyses, interpret model results, provide software training, and optimize usage of AIR’s models. She joined AIR 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. Since then he has 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 where he conducted research into the use of Ensemble Sensitivity Analysis with Southern Plains convection to evaluate the dynamics and predictability of an event. Prior to this, Chris was a Visiting Scientist at Developmental Testbed center at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. While there, Chris worked to develop standardized tools for ensemble sensitivity research. In addition, Chris has earned a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Valparaiso University and a Master of Science in Atmospheric Science from Texas Tech University.

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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.

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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 Product Manager in AIR’s Product Management group. Splitting her time between AIR’s London and Boston offices, Colette focuses on the strategic development of AIR’s Touchstone and Touchstone Re products to ensure they best meet our clients’ current and future business needs. Colette was previously a Manager in AIR’s Client and Consulting Services group and led a team focused on Touchstone workflows, implementations, and migrations for London and continental Europe. Before joining AIR, Colette worked as a Catastrophe Modeler for a Lloyd’s of London syndicate. She received a B.S. in Geography from the University of Nottingham and an M.S. in Geophysical Hazards from University College London. Colette is currently pursuing a B.E. 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 Brown joined AIR in 2016 as a Risk Consultant in our Consulting and Client Services Group. Prior to working for AIR, Courtney worked as an Underwriter for Energi Insurance Services, Inc., where she evaluated individual energy-related accounts based on operations, loss exposure, statistical reports and guidelines.

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Daniel Raizman

Daniel Raizman joined AIR in 2014 as a Risk Analyst in our Consulting and Client Services Department. Prior to working for AIR, Daniel worked as a Student Researcher for WSP Group in the United Kingdom and as a Teaching Assistant in Grenoble, France. Daniel earned his Bachelor of Arts in French, Economics and Italian from Vassar College and his Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis/Geographic Information Science from University College London.

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Daniel Rees

Daniel Rees joined AIR in 2011 and is a Senior Analyst in the Research Department. Prior to joining AIR, Daniel worked as an Assistant Tree Surveyor for Township of Maplewood in New Jersey. He earned both a B.A in Geography and an M.A 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.

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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 came to AIR in 2005 and is a Senior Product Manager. Dennis came to AIR from Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc. where he worked as a Project Manager. 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 joined AIR in 2011 as a Risk Analyst in our Consulting and Client Services Department and is now Director, Life Markets. Prior to AIR, 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 B.A in Mathematics - Actuarial Science and B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut.

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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. He has worked on the earthquake models for South East Asia, India, the United States, New Zealand, and Caribbean, among other projects. Ehsan has earned his Ph.D. from Northeastern University and his M.Sc from the University of Tehran. He currently serves as president-elect of the New England Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).

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