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Newly Formed Travelers Institute Puts its Focus on Public Policy

Source: Travelers

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Posted on 28 May 2009

The Travelers Companies, Inc. on Wednesday announced it has established The Travelers Institute as a means of participating in public policy dialogue on matters of interest to the property casualty insurance sector, as well as the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute will draw upon the industry expertise of Travelers' senior management and the technical expertise of its risk professionals and other experts to provide information, analysis and recommendations to public policy makers and regulators.

“Travelers is committed to being a constructive participant in the public policy dialogue with regard to important issues facing our industry,” said Jay S. Fishman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Travelers. “We hope to contribute to solutions on a wide range of issues that face our customers, our agents and brokers, and the communities we serve.”

Based in Washington, D.C., The Travelers Institute will be led by Joan Woodward, who joined Travelers in 2008 as Executive Vice President of Public Policy. With a career that blends Washington policymaking experience with financial services expertise, Woodward served for a dozen years on Capitol Hill on both the House Budget and Senate Finance Committee staffs, before beginning nearly a decade at Goldman Sachs where she served as the founding Executive Director of The Global Markets Institute.

Woodward will coordinate with the Public Policy Advisory Committee of the company’s Board of Directors, which includes Janet Dolan, Kenneth Duberstein, Cleve Killingsworth Jr. and Blythe McGarvie.

In addition, The Travelers Institute has convened a separate Advisory Board comprising distinguished public policy and industry experts, whose perspectives will assist in framing and guiding the work of the Institute. Inaugural members of the Advisory Board are Richard I. Beattie, Leslie Disharoon, Richard Herring and Alice Rivlin.

Richard I. Beattie, Chairman of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, has a long record of public service that includes serving as a Special Presidential Emissary to Cyprus under the Clinton administration and as General Counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Carter administration. In 1980, as Director of the Transition and Counsel to the Secretary of Education, he led efforts to organize the U.S. Department of Education. He is also Chairman of the Board and founder of New Visions for Public Schools, a not-for-profit organization that develops and implements programs to improve public education in New York City.

Leslie Disharoon, former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monumental Corporation, served as Chairman of MSD&T Funds Inc. and Johns Hopkins Health System Endowment. He is a Director of AT&T Government Solutions Inc., Aegon USA Inc. and MSD&T Funds Inc., and a former Director of The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Richard Herring is Jacob Safra Professor of International Banking and Professor of Finance at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he is also Co-Director of The Wharton Financial Institutions Center. The author of more than 100 articles, monographs and books on financial regulation and international finance, Herring serves as Co-Chair of the U.S. Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee and was a member of the Group Thirty Study Groups on the Reinsurance Industry and on Global Institutions, National Supervision and Systemic Risk.

Alice Rivlin, former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office and former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, serves as a visiting professor at the Public Policy Institute of Georgetown University. She is a Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, where she directs Brookings Greater Washington Research. Rivlin also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange.

Travelers has a long-standing tradition of corporate responsibility and community involvement. For example, in 2008, Travelers partnered with other industry leaders to develop a plan to provide stable, affordable and private market-based catastrophic wind insurance to residents along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic coasts. In 2009, as part of its first initiative, The Travelers Institute has partnered with The Heinz Center and Ceres to develop the Resilient Coasts Blueprint for Action. Details on both initiatives are available at


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