Kathleen Ireland Vice President Global Risk & Insurance Management IBM
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Kathleen was born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. She has a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from Hofstra University which she attended on an athletic scholarship for Fencing. Her plans upon graduation to teach in the public schools ended abruptly when Art education was dropped countrywide from the school's curriculum.
Moving to Boston she joined the newly formed risk management department of the large insurance brokerage firm Frank B Hall (now Aon) in an entry level capacity. This first of its kind "outsourcing" unit provided professional risk management services to Fortune 500 clients which were complex enough to need their own in-house risk manager, yet not large enough to hire their own.
While working in this new unit Kathleen earned the professional designations of CPCU and ARM (Associates Degree in Risk Management) by attending classes at night at the Insurance Library of Boston, and eventually became an assistant account manager. Having learned all lines of insurance products, she was one of few qualified to join Hall's new international department; created as clients – particularly those in the technology sector -were growing internationally.
Returning from an assignment in Paris, Brussels, London and Zurich Kathleen was promoted to Manager of International department for Frank B Hall. Over the course of her career Kathleen has developed and managed international risk management programs for over 100 companies. These include such well known institutions as Mass Institute of Technology (MIT), Raytheon, Perini Construction, Terex, Purdue Pharma, Apollo Computer, Prime Computer, Wang Labs, Hitachi, GTE /Verizon, The Stanley Works, Bell Helicopter/Textron.
She later joined Johnson & Higgins, CT and was chosen by IBM to lead the J&H International Casualty Risk Management team formed in 1993 when IBM outsourced their Risk Management function. For 12 consecutive years Kathleen designed and managed the international insurance programs in the role of outsourced International Casualty Risk manager for IBM. In 2005 she was asked to join IBM as Director of Global Risk & Insurance reporting to the Treasurer at IBM’s corporate headquarters in Armonk, NY. Kathleen was voted by Business Insurance/RIMS as Risk Manager of the Year in 2015.
Now as IBM's Vice President of Global Risk and Insurance Kathleen identifies new and emerging risks for IBM; then designs and manages global risk management strategies- including all lines of property and casualty insurance programs for all IBM operations worldwide.