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Steering Commitee

First Microinsurance Innovation Facility Steering Committee meeting,
with the participation of Mr. Juan Somavia, Director-General of the ILO, and Mr. José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Director of the Employment Sector

Craig Churchill
International Labour Organization

Craig Churchill has two decades of microfinance experience in both developed and developing countries. In his current position in the ILO's Social Finance Programme, he focuses primarily on the role of financial services that the poor can use to manage risks and reduce their vulnerability, including savings, insurance and emergency loans. He serves as the Chair of the Microinsurance Network and on the Faculty of the Boulder Institute of Microfinance.

Craig has authored and edited over 40 articles, papers, monographs and training manuals on various microfinance topics including microinsurance, customer loyalty, organizational development, governance, lending methodologies, regulation and supervision, and financial services for the poorest of the poor. His 2006 publication, Protecting the poor: A microinsurance compendium (Geneva: ILO, Munich Re Foundation), which he edited, is the most authoritative book on the subject. He has a BA from Williams College and an MA from Clark University, both in Massachusetts.

Denis Garand
Actuary and independent consultant

Graduate of University of Manitoba in 1981, obtained FCIA and FSA in 1987. From 1981 to 2000 worked for a Canadian cooperative insurance company as Group Actuary, Director of Marketing and Vice-President of Group insurance as well as an advisor to developing cooperative insurers and an active participant in industry associations.

From 2000, Denis had been an independent consultant, focusing on the Canadian group and creditor insurance industry and international micro insurance programs.

Canadian assignments have included strategic reviews, capital management, training, product development, pricing, mergers, insurance company start up and the development of the first Canadian disability incidence study.

International assignments for BearingPoint, CGAP, ILO, GTZ, CCA, ICMIF and The World Bank have been in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Benin, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Egypt, Philippines, and Barbados working on all aspects of micro insurance and creditor insurance. With a principal specialty in micro health insurance.

Richard Leftley

Richard joined Opportunity International's Technical Services Division in January 2002 as insurance product development manager. Richard previously worked as a reinsurance broker for Benfield Greig Ltd, the world's largest independent reinsurance broking group. Richard was responsible for the African account and worked closely with three others in a team covering the Middle East and South East Asia.

Richard pioneered the introduction of insurance products within the Opportunity Network and this work has placed Opportunity as a market leader in the provision of insurance to the poor. At the end of June 2007 a range of insurance products were available to 3,300,000 clients and family members in Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Philippines, Mexico and Columbia.

In 2004 Richard was promoted to the position of Vice President for Planning & Operations and led a team of specialist consultants providing technical assistance to Opportunity partners in 29 countries in all areas of lending, savings, insurance, money transfer and client impact monitoring.

During 2005, Opportunity International launched the MicroEnsure to provide a larger number of clients with access to insurance products; as President Richard has established the organisation and is setting its strategic direction.

Brandon Mathews
Stonestep LLC

Brandon Mathews is the Managing Director at Stonestep LLC.

Brandon started his professional life in Germany in 1992 with General Motors Europe where he held various positions focusing on information systems, process improvement, and marketing. In 1998, he joined American International Group's foreign general insurance home office in New York to establish policy, claims, and customer service operations for a mass consumer offering in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

Four years later he was appointed the Latin America regional executive for the same line of business. In this position, he started trade for the line in several markets, expanded the product offering, and served as director of related joint venture companies in Brazil and Mexico. During the same period, Brandon championed Microinsurance, presenting the subject to the CEO and Business Division CEOs and serving as a member of internal working groups on Microinsurance distribution and operations. He joined Zurich Financial Services in June 2007 and was head of microinsurance for five years.

Brandon is a frequent speaker on topics associated with Microinsurance, and has worked with numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations to bring the benefits of modern risk management to traditionally underserved populations.

Brandon is a member of the American Council on Germany. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester and his master's degree from New York University. He is based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Gabriele Ramm
Consultant to GTZ

Gabriele Ramm coordinates the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) project of Munich Re and GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) on catastrophic risks in Indonesia and manages the PPP microinsurance project of Allianz Group and GTZ in India and Indonesia. As a consult-ant to GTZ she focused on social protection in the informal economy and microinsurance collaborating with ILO and other organizations. Prior to 2001 she was GTZ Program Director in India heading poverty alleviation projects of microfinance/microinsurance, livelihood programs, health, women empowerment and good governance.

During her tenure with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation she worked as the FNF Representative in Nepal and Pakistan heading projects on industrial relations, social security, decentralization policy and training of environmental journalists.

Before joining projects of poverty alleviation she worked at German TV, Cologne (WDR), for the Foundation for International Development (now InWEnt) and the International Department of the German Adult Education Association in the areas of development support communication, visual literacy, adult education and intercultural communication/management.

G. Ramm has published several studies and articles on microinsurance/social protection and was a team member of the Microinsurance Landscape Study Study in the World’s 100 Poorest Countries for the MicroInsurance Centre. She holds two MA degrees in Political Science/Mass Communication and Engineering.

Rupalee Ruchismita
Centre for Insurance and Risk Management (CIRM)

Rupalee Ruchismita is the Executive Director and Founding Head of the Centre for Insurance and Risk Management at IFMR, an action research technical group, engaged in providing micro insurance and risk management expertise to the development sector. The Centre, other than health, focuses on safety net services for livelihood risks (agriculture, livestock and fishery), micro pensions, disaster management services, financial literacy and training challenges of the sector.

She has been involved in implementing more than five micro- insurance experiments in the country. Previously, she worked as part of the grant making and action research group within The Social Initiatives Group (SIG) at ICICI Bank.

John Woodall
International Labour Organization

John is a qualified actuary. After studying mathematics, he worked in the U.K., firstly with a major life insurance company, and subsequently, through most of the 1980s, with an occupational pensions consultancy. In the early 1990s, while based in East Africa, he began working in the field of social security, participating in studies and projects conducted by the ILO and other agencies, concerned with the design and valuation of national social security programmes in a number of countries in Africa and Asia.

In 1998, John joined the ILO staff to take up the position of Senior Social Security Specialist with the multi-disciplinary advisory team for South Asia, based in New Delhi, India, and since 2005 has held a similar post located in the ILO's Social Security Department at its headquarters in Geneva.