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Willis Towers Watson

Head of Earth Risks Research

The Willis Research Network (WRN) is an award-winning collaboration created in 2006 supporting and influencing science to improve the understanding and quantification of risk, with the aim to improve the resilience of our clients and society as a whole.  Our small but diverse WRN team gathers individuals with natural hazard, economics, spatial analytics, statistical, project management and marketing backgrounds.  We are a growing, multi-national team, with enthusiastic, dynamic and team-oriented individuals who work closely with colleagues across Willis Towers Watson (WTW) to translate the latest science and technology into client services and industry thought-leadership. Our principle is that we create innovative long-term research partnerships– be it with universities, research centres or private companies – to focus on risks and applications of latest scientific findings that are of interest to our clients. Our broad research programme covers a full and wide range of risks including various natural hazard relating to weather extremes, climate variability and trends, seismic and volcanic perils technology change, people and emerging risks.

Note: Limited air travel may be required at times. 
Note: Employment-based non-immigration visa sponsorship and/or assistance is not offered for this specific job opportunity.

The Role
The Head of Earth Risk Research manager will work closely with the WRN team, WRN partners and WTW stakeholders to support and lead and develop the Earth research agenda. You will use your practical research experience daily by contributing to the management and development of relationships with our internal stakeholders and external academic partners, and prioritizing and scoping industry-orientated research to derive tangible outputs from the research funded by Willis Towers Watson. You will have a strong analytical ability and excellent communication skills with a proven track record in contributing to articles / blogs / commentaries on areas of relevance.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead and develop a research agenda looking at Earth risk, with particular attention to Seismic risks, Volcanic risk and Tsunami
  • Work with WRN partners to translate academic knowledge to deliver bespoke risk products and services and support overall client solutions
  • Present technical solutions to internal and external clients in a digestible manner
  • Develop Insight, blogs and other articles or relevance that can be published via the WTW social media platforms
  • Project and relationship management of partner work
  • Engage with wider academic and industry to support your own horizon scanning and understand latest findings, emerging scientific consensus and risk trends that can feed future WRN work
  • Liaise with offices and teams world-wide to support the engagement of WRN activities with regional offices, which could involve local and overseas travel

The Requirements 

  • Degree-educated, ideally in areas related to seismic hazards or related disciplines
  • Commercial experience in seismic research / analytics / catastrophe modelling / consultancy
  • Familiarity with academia, and interest in bridging the gap between research and industry
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills with proven experience in writing articles / blogs / commentaries on areas of relevance
  • Genuine interest and ability to adapt and learn new areas of expertise to address an evolving risk landscape
  • Enthusiasm, self-motivation and drive
  • The ability to work both in a team and autonomously, with a general willingness to learn and grow within a global market leader
  • Strong inter-personal skills, and ability to deploy effective communication techniques in internal and external stakeholder meetings, and able to achieve buy-in for new research ideas and applications
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure, multi-task and prioritise project work

Advantageous Skills:

  • Understanding of the physical sciences related to other natural catastrophes (including flood, windstorms, hail, drought, freeze, wildfire etc.)
  • Knowledge of insurance and reinsurance terms and business
  • Understanding of the business context of risk modelling processes
  • Experience in working across different time zones and with teams in overseas locations
  • Strong project management and  delivery skills

For the successful candidate, this is an exciting opportunity to join a unique, industry driven research network working with some of the leading academic institutions across the globe.  There will be a steep yet rewarding learning curve allowing the right person to continue to develop business and technical skills in a leading financial institution.

This is a full-time position based in New York or Minneapolis

EOE, including disability/vets


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