Senior Managing Director of Public Sector Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services

background image

Ten years ago, there was a terrible school shooting in northern Minnesota that left 10 people dead.  Shortly after it occurred, I spoke with a school security expert about the incident.  At the time, we didn’t know anything about why the shootings had occurred and there was a lot of fear and speculation going around.  I asked him if he thought school shootings were predictable (and therefore preventable) or if they were random acts of violence.  To this day, his answer still haunts me.  He said, “Someone always knows.”

Most risk managers are well trained to predict future outcomes based on past experiences and to create top-notch risk prevention and financing solutions for those risks we can predict.  But is that enough to prepare our entities for the uncertainties of today’s world?

In my last blog, I posed some provocative questions about listening to a broader array of voices and considering risks beyond our direct control.  Let me share a great example of one university that has done just that.

A 2012 publication from The Education Advisory Board highlighted best practices in risk management among colleges and universities*.  The publication cited the University of Alberta for its independent risk management identification forum.  The forum brings together experts from outside (their array of voices) the university to verify the key risks and assumptions made in its risk register and to listen to the experts’ predictions about business, economic and government trends.  It’s a one-day meeting that provides insight into risks beyond the four walls of the campus and is a great way to force the University to consider risks beyond their direct control

Many public agencies and schools have advisory committees and citizen groups.  Why don’t risk managers do more to interact with and engage these groupsto “think forward” about emerging trends and risk?

How do you incorporate the voices of experts outside your entity into your risk management process?


Senior Managing Director of Public Sector Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services


• 2014 Woman to Watch - Business Insurance Magazine • 2012 Recognized by Treasury & Risk as a “Top 100” Leader in Finance and Risk • 2012 Public Sector Power Broker – Risk & Insurance Magazine • 2010 Public Sector Power Broker Finalist – Risk & Insurance Magazine • 2009 Public Sector Power Broker – Risk & Insurance Magazine • More than 20 years of public sector risk management experience • Speaker, author, leader on Enterprise Risk Management in the public sector • Chair of the US Technical Advisory Group to ISO 31000:2009 and ISO 31004


As Senior Managing Director of Gallagher Public Sector, Dorothy leads 300 Gallagher insurance brokers and specialists dedicated to public sector clients across the United States, focusing on issues of risk management, exposure identification, pool operations and enterprise risk management. In addition to leading the broker group, Dorothy provides consulting and risk management services to select Gallagher public sector and higher education clients.


Prior to joining Gallagher, Dorothy was risk manager of three self-insured pools for the New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC). She has more than 20 years experience in public sector risk management and insurance. During her tenure at NMAC, Dorothy developed loss-sensitive contribution and allocation formulas. She partnered with her insurance broker to provide new coverage programs for members, including injunctive relief, land use and special events and the Pool’s first coverage document in order to clarify coverage exclusions and conditions of insurance. In response to rising losses, she developed individualized training sessions to address sexual harassment and management issues. She led a team that brought claims in house and developed a legal advice hotline, which saved the pools hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first year alone. As a founding board member of County Reinsurance, Limited, a captive excess insurance company formed to provide reinsurance to county association pools nationwide, Dorothy served as Board Member and Treasurer. Dorothy was also a founding member and organizer of the New Mexico PRIMA Chapter, where she organized local and regional educational opportunities for school, city, county and state risk managers and safety personnel.


Dorothy served as the Chair of the US Technical Advisory Group to ISO 31000, the international standard on the practice of risk management, and its Implementation Guide, ISO 31004 from 2008-2014. Dorothy has also served on the RIMS Standards Comparison Committee and as curriculum advisor for the National Alliance. In 2003, Dorothy partnered with the risk manager of the largest community college district in the U.S. to create an award-winning integrated program that unified traditional risk management and enterprise risk management. From 2003 on, Dorothy has presented educational sessions on ERM and its application in the public sector at regional and national conferences: RIMS (regional and national), PRIMA (regional and national), URMIA (regional and national), AGRiP, STRIMA, NACUA, the IIA GRC, Infonex and for many Gallagher client groups. She is currently co-creating education and training material on implementing ERM in the public sector using ISO 31000 for PRIMA and URMIA. ERM implementation and consulting projects include the CO School Districts Self-Insurance Pool, the City-County of San Francisco, the New Mexico Association of Counties insurance pools, FL College System Risk Management Consortium, UVM, UNC Charlotte, Johnson County Community College District in KS and Maricopa County Community College District in AZ.


AGRiP – Association of Governmental Risk Pools IRM – The Institute of Risk Management ISO 31000 Standard on the Practice of Risk Management – US Technical Advisory Group ISO 31004, the Implementation Guide to ISO 31000 PRIMA – Public Risk Management Association RIMS – Risk and Insurance Management Society


Bachelor of Arts, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN ARM designation, Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation, Insurance Institute of America ARM-P, Risk Management for Public Entities designation, Insurance Institute of America CIRM, International Certificate in Risk Management, The Institute of Risk Management

Sign Up for Our Education Newsletter

You Might Also Be Interested In