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Platinum Underwriters Reinsurance Inc.

New York

Age: 45

H. Elizabeth Mitchell was valedictorian of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., class of 1985, where she majored in the classics. She joined the Insurance Services Office Inc. after graduation, training as an actuary. After a little over a year, she moved on to Tillinghast/Towers Perrin, where she remained for six years. She held the position of corporate actuary at English & American Insurance Co. Ltd. before joining St. Paul Reinsurance Inc. in 1993, where she held several senior positions before becoming the executive vp responsible for all North American casualty underwriting. As part of restructuring, the unit was spun off and renamed Platinum in 2002. Ms. Mitchell held the position of chief operating officer and executive vp of Platinum before being named president in August 2005. Ms. Mitchell was named Insurance Woman of the Year by the Assn. of Professional Insurance Women in 2007 and became a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1990.

advice to young women: "As a woman, it's helpful to find ways to distinguish yourself. Having some formal education or professional accreditation--I'm an actuary, for example--but to be a lawyer or accountant or getting one of the underwriting designations gives you a credential that you always have. Someone can't take it away from you. An industry badge so to speak. Plus, you learn something by doing it, which makes you smarter and more capable in the business."