Actuarial Science & Risk Management

College of Business & Public Administration
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The Kelley Center for Insurance Innovation

The Kelley Center for Insurance Innovation was established by the EMC Insurance Companies to play a key role in connecting the insurance industry and Drake's Zimpleman College of Business to provide students and faculty with engagement opportunities within the insurance ecosystem.  Drake has a location advantage as 75 insurers are headquartered in the Des Moines metro area, including members of the Fortune 500.  Many are located just minutes from campus.  

Connections begin in the classroom as executives and regulators share their experiences through class discussions.  School-year internships are common and summer internships opportunities in Des Moines and throughout the country are the norm.  


  • Student interns work alongside insurtech start-up founders who are building solutions that support the insurance indsutry at the Global Insurance Accelerator.
  • Disruption Days brings the campus community together to celebrate insurance careers each February.  Authors, innovators, and investors share their experiences and illustrate future opportunitites.  A case study competition provides cash prizes as students learn about innovations impacting insurance, develop presentations, and enhance their business skills.
  • The Drake Risk & Opportunity Forum bring insurance industry Chief Financial Officers, Chief Investment Officers, Chief Risk Officers, Deputy General Counsel, Controllers, and many levels of actuaries to campus to hear subject matter experts share their perspectives on timely risks and how it leads to business opportunities.  The Forum provides the opportunity for students to engage with risk management professionals to both network and consider career options.
  • Students learn alongside industry leaders at the Global Insurance Symposium.  The multi-day event annually brings together innovators, executive officers, and regulators from around the work to provide thought leadership to the industry.  Since 2014, the event has drawn more than 3,200 attendees from 13 countries. 
  • The Archie Boe lecture is an endowed lecture series with a focus on ethical decision-making in business.  Past lectures have addressed issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, climate change, 'big data', and the use of genomic information in insurance pricing.  The lecture is named to honor a Drake alumnus and former Chairman of the Allstate Insurance Company.
  • Students interested in insurance employment are encouraged to become active in the Chi chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, Drake's award-winning professional fraternity in Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science.  The organization hosts guest speakers, sponsors professional development events, and hosts the Drake Symposium which attracts more than 100 actuarial students form 20 universities across the United State and Canada.  

Student-Led Research:

The Drake Insurance Innovation Lab hires students as interns to research innovation applications in insurance.  Students select a topic and work throughout the school year to develop a presentation for insurance company executives.  Students learn from insurance carriers, insurtech founders, authors, and their own independent research.  Past presentations have included: An Insurance Carrier's Guide to Insurtech Engagement, How IOT is Adding Proactivity to Insurance, and Sustainability in the Insurance Industry.  Futhermore, their work has been published in the Drake Management Review

Kelley Center Research:

The Kelley Center hires student interns to research timely insurance topics alongside experienced faculty.  Recent research has explored career opportunities in the Iowa insurance industry.  

The center directly supports the EMC Distinguished Professor of Insurance and the Robb B. Kelley Distinguished Visiting Professor of Risk Management and Actuarial Science.  


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