Biographical Sketch

Biographical Sketch
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Michael R. Powers is the Zurich Group Professor of Risk Mathematics at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management.  A 2011 recipient of China’s Qian Ren Ji Hua award, he holds a joint appointment at Tsinghua Universitys Schwarzman College.  In 2013, he won the Kulp-Wright Book Award for Acts of God and Man: Ruminations on Risk and Insurance (2012, Columbia University Press), in which he proposes a novel science of risk.

Powers’ research covers a variety of areas, including:  financial regulation and public policy; applications of game theory in risk and insurance; mathematical models in enterprise risk management; the tax treatment of risk transfers; and the impact of cultural attitudes on risk finance.  He has edited three scholarly books – The Economics and Politics of Choice No-Fault InsuranceGlobal Risk Management: Financial, Operational, and Insurance Strategies, and The Political Economy of Chinese Finance – and is the author of Icons, a science-fiction/fantasy novel.  He also has published over ninety articles and book chapters, and received awards for outstanding research from the Journal of Risk and Insurance, the Risk and Insurance Management Society, and the International Insurance Society.

Powers joined Tsinghua from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, where he was professor of risk management and insurance.  Prior to that, he served as deputy insurance commissioner for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and was responsible for designing Pennsylvania’s current “choice” no-fault automobile insurance system.

Over the past three decades, Powers has consulted for numerous clients in both the public and private sectors, and served on a number of advisory boards, including the Pennsylvania Health-Care Cost Containment Council and the Philadelphia Mayor’s Auto Insurance Task Force.  He received his B.S. in applied mathematics, summa cum laude, from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in statistics from Harvard University.

Author Photo:  Bill Cramer/Wonderful Machine (Copyright held by Michael R. Powers; permission granted for all educational uses.)