Ed Rozynski, Dr. Thrower, Jim Weeks
Dr. Ellen Thrower retired in December as executive director of St. John’s University School of Risk Management, one of the nation’s leading academic programs in risk and insurance. Her leadership of the school began in 1988 as president of The College of Insurance, an independent, private college located in New York City. In 2001, she led the merger of the college with St. John’s University and it was renamed The School of Risk Management. In her 22 years as the school's leader, Ellen has received numerous awards recognizing her accomplishments. She was named “Woman of the Year” by the Association of Professional Insurance Women, and Business Insurance named her one of the 100 Leading Women in the Insurance Industry. She was the recipient of the National Insurance Industry Association’s Award of Distinction for her work with minorities, and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presented her with The Chairman’s Award, the highest award given by NAMIC, for her contributions in education. In January 2011 the school ’s Board of Overseers honored her by naming its new student center the Ellen Thrower Center for Apprenticeship and Student Services. She will be awarded an honorary doctorate by St. John’s University in June.
Ellen currently serves as chairman of the board and president of the Risk Foundation, a New York-based public foundation devoted to funding research and education in the field of risk management. She is a member of the board of XL Group, a publicly traded global insurance and reinsurance company headquartered in Ireland, and a director and vice chair of the board of United Educators, an insurance company providing insurance and risk management services to more than 1,000 colleges and universities.
Ellen earned B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1975 and 1978 and a Ph.D. in Risk Management and Insurance from Georgia State University. She completed additional study at Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management. Prior to moving to New York, she served on the faculty of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was also director of the Insurance Center.
Past Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients