October 2021 SOA Board of Directors Meeting Recap and Outcomes

Pittsburgh, PA (November 3, 2021) - The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) gathered in Pittsburgh October 23-24.  The Board is continuing to work on strengthening the profession and the SOA and to prepare members and candidates for the future.  Themes of the Board meeting include:

  • Investing in innovation,
  • Expanding support for candidates and members around the world,
  • Completing the new Strategic Plan, and
  • Advancing outreach to diverse students, members, and their support networks.


The SOA is focused on innovation for the future of the organization and the profession with an emphasis on improvements that address the “pain points” our members, candidates, students, and employers face in their work, professional challenges, and interactions with the SOA. In addition to adopting the 2022 budget to fund regular, ongoing SOA operations, the Board is making decisions aimed at funding innovation. This includes funding to support further education and professional development improvements, our new affiliate member programs, our community engagement pilot program, the new SOA app, and our international (non-North American) growth programs.

It also includes a new and very exciting step to create an Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) from within SOA financial reserves.

“Change is accelerating and so must we. It is a sign of the SOA’s commitment to change that we are setting aside $10 million of existing financial reserves to fund the development of new or better ways to serve our members, candidates, and employers,” said Roy Goldman, Ph.D., FSA, MAAA, CERA and 2020-21 SOA President. “With the creation of the Innovation Investment Fund, we are signaling our commitment to making meaningful improvements in the services we offer and the opportunities we can help create for our members. I can think of no better way to use the SOA’s financial strength than to invest in the development of the profession itself and in the ability of the organization to serve the profession.”

International Expansion Strategy

The SOA is an international organization today and is becoming more so. Over the five years from 2015-2020, membership outside the U.S. and Canada has increased from 15% to 18% of total membership. The non-U.S. or Canada candidate population increased from 25% to 31% of the total population over the same period. Given this, our long-term strategy is focused on increasing support and service for these growing markets and member/candidate populations.

The SOA international strategy seeks to meet three objectives:

  • Increase local resources, including staff, to serve members, candidates, and employers in these markets.
  • Create more localized services tailored to needs in these markets; and
  • Explore the development of new opportunities in emerging markets.

The Board reviewed progress made toward achieving these objectives, looking at key indicators and metrics in 2021 and plans for 2022.

“The fastest growth in opportunities for the actuarial profession is occurring outside the U.S. and Canada and the world is only becoming more connected. The SOA is and must be internationally focused. To do that well, we need to develop new, localized products and services that truly serve our members, candidates, and employers in these markets. We’re committed to doing that and we’re moving resources to programs designed to make that happen,” said Greg Heidrich, CEO of the SOA.

For more on the SOA’s international strategy, visit the Asia and Canada homepages and the Long-Term Growth Strategy home page.

Affiliate Membership Programs

The Board reviewed the launch of the new SOA Affiliate Membership program, open to all candidates, students, and their supporters such as parents and teachers.

In just the first three weeks after launch, the program has attracted more than 1,000 new Affiliate Members. More than half come from countries outside the U.S. and Canada and, in total, new Affiliates hail from more than 60 countries. Affiliate members are beginning to use and gain benefits from the many program services and the SOA is monitoring usage to ensure we have the most valuable set of benefits possible. The Board also heard plans for the launch of our next program, the Professional Affiliate offering, intended to allow candidates further along the education pathway to gain additional benefits appropriate to their stage of career development. The Board approved a new customized Code of Conduct for Professional Affiliate members, which will provide these members with an introduction to the importance of professionalism in their future work as actuaries and a distinction fitting their level of development in the profession.

For more information on Affiliate Membership and where to join, visit our website.

Promoting the Profession

The SOA Board reviewed and discussed an update on the SOA’s plans to promote the profession, the SOA’s broad and rigorous education pathways to ASA and FSA, and Affiliate membership in 2022.

The campaign will seek to reach students and their influencers where they are – on social media, the web, or elsewhere with targeted landing pages and digital advertising. The campaign will aim to demonstrate the impact actuaries have on real problems facing the world and the communities in which they live, build awareness and support for actuaries with employers, and promote the profession to non-insurance related industries. Finally, the plan includes continued outreach to the media and public to raise the profession’s visibility by producing research and commentary on key societal issues.

Strategic Plan

The SOA Board approved the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan map, which describes the purpose, themes, and values of the strategic plan the Board has been developing over the past 18 months. Specific strategies for the themes have been developed and initiatives to carry out the plan are under development now.

The new strategy map adopts a simple but broad mission: The SOA empowers members to drive solutions to life’s financial risks.

 We will achieve the mission by:

  • Engaging a diverse community to innovatively address key societal issues;
  • Preparing actuaries to be business leaders who leverage data, technology, and judgment to create responsible risk solutions; and
  • Providing education and research globally to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Expect more on the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan in the coming months in your member newsletter, SOA News Weekly, and on soa.org.

Governance and Budget Updates

The SOA succeeds in part by focusing on creating and maintaining a strong system of governance of its activities. The Board’s Governance and Policy Committee has worked this year to uncover insights from voting members and election candidates into the SOA’s nominations and elections process and made three recommendations to the Board, which were approved:

  • Update Presidential Title to include ‘Chair’: This addition provides a better description of a major function of the President, namely chairing and running the Board meetings. The Board has agreed to change the titles of presidential officers to President and Chair; and President-Elect and Vice Chair. The title of Past President remains.
  • Changes to Election Process: To encourage individuals to run in SOA Elections, the Board approved recommendations to provide balanced communications support and resources to all candidates running for the Board. These recommendations include the option of a short video for all candidates, sending two email messages from candidates, providing more details to the candidates about the Board role and responsibilities, and listing elected Board member candidates first, followed by President-Elect and Vice Chair candidates in election marketing and on the SOA website.
  • Communications and Education Efforts: The SOA will create additional election resources and communications to address members’ request for clear, concise information and more educational materials explaining the SOA Elections process. Helping show continuity and clarity, the President and Chair, and CEO, will jointly provide member communications on the organization’s strategy.

For more on SOA Elections and updates on the process, visit SOA Elections.

The Board also approved the 2022 operating budget with anticipated revenues of approximately $61 million versus planned operation expenses of approximately $60 million. The Board approved a modest increase in member dues, increasing annual dues for Fellows and five-year ASAs by $10 and dues for ASAs less than five years by $5.

Leadership Team Appointments, Outgoing Board Members and New Board Members

The SOA Leadership Team serves as a critical committee of the Board, providing oversight on a variety of operational matters and inter-organizational relationships. In addition to the three Presidential officers and the CEO (non-voting), the Leadership Team includes two other Board members appointed to serve on the Leadership Team. During this meeting, the Board approved the following Leadership Team appointments:

  • Secretary/Treasurer: Lisa Kuklinski, FSA, MAAA
  • Member-At-Large: Sharon Giffen, FSA, FCIA

Jennifer L. Gillespie, FSA, MAAA, will serve as President and Chair of the Board for the 2021-2022 term.

The SOA Board recognized the service of outgoing Board members whose terms have ended, including:

  • Past President, Andrew D. Rallis, FSA, MAAA
  • Julie A. Curtis, FSA, MAAA, EA
  • David M. Dillon, FSA, MAAA
  • Jennifer Anne Haid, FSA
  • Sara Corrough Teppema, FSA, MAAA
  • Ling-Ling Wang, FSA, CERA, MAAA

Incoming Board members attending and observing the meeting included:

  • President-Elect and Vice Chair of the Board, John W. Robinson, FSA, MAAA, FCA
  • Sara Goldberg, FSA, MAAA
  • David N. Ingram, FSA, CERA, MAAA
  • Mary Beth Ramsay, FSA, MAAA
  • Si Xie, FSA, CERA, FCIA
  • Mercy Yan, FSA, FCIA, MAAA

Thank you to all of our retiring Board members for your dedication and innovation helping to propel forward the future of actuaries and welcome to the new Leadership Team and Board members – we are looking forward to working and collaborating with you in the months and years to come.


Roy Goldman, Ph.D., FSA, MAAA, CERA                                                Greg Heidrich

2020-21 President                                                                                 Chief Executive Officer

Society of Actuaries                                                                               Society of Actuaries