The Actuaries Institute has announced the winner of its prestigious Actuary of the Year award.
Jennifer Lang has taken home the honour for 2020. Lang was recognised for leading the Actuaries Institute's COVID-19 response.
The Actuaries Institute COVID-19 working group brought together more than 80 actuaries, who volunteered to assess the potential impact of the pandemic on the profession, public policy, business and the community.
A Pandemic Resource Centre was established by the group to help actuaries support their companies in managing and mitigating the impacts of the pandemic.
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"The work of the COVID-19 group, under Jennifer's leadership, is making a significant contribution," Actuaries Institute chief executive Elayne Grace said.
"The group has provided strong guidance to the profession in unprecedented times, across a very broad range of practice areas. It has resulted in 17 pandemic briefings and more than 70 articles."
Actuaries Institute president Hoa Bui said Lang's work highlights the relevance of actuarial skills in policymaking and real-time national events.
"Jennifer's ability to bring rigor with her actuarial skill set to looking at issues around COVID-19 particularly stood out," Bui said.
"She is able to guide the Working Group, to bring data to the table to solve problems that hamper communities, business and policymakers in very different ways. That thinking helps lead change."
Lang is currently an expert consultant to the insurance committee at UniSuper and was previously chief financial officer and chief actuary at CommInsure.
She was also chief actuary at NAB Wealth and head of insurance at KPMG earlier in her career.
She inspired the establishment of the Actuaries Institute's Hackathon program, which invites not-for-profits to bring their problems to actuaries - in particular, younger actuaries - who volunteer to help find solutions.
"It was great to be involved with young actuaries," Lang said.
"But all actuaries generally, come into their work with a notion that they want to help people and solve problems within society widely. This award, which I am delighted to accept, also reflects the work we have done in the COVID-19 group."