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2018 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Luke Figora

2018 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Luke Figora


Assistant vice president, risk management and environmental health and safety

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Age: 35

Luke Figora is responsible for enterprise risk management, risk finance, insurance and claims, captive insurance, environmental health and safety, business continuity planning and student health insurance at Northwestern University. Within his first year at the university in 2015, Mr. Figora built the institution’s first environmental health and safety function. He has also doubled the lines of business written by its captive. Prior to Northwestern, he was executive director for risk management at the University of Chicago. Mr. Figora is currently the president-elect for the University Risk Management and Insurance Association.

Emerging risks in your specialty

The ones getting the most attention are concussions and brain injuries with respect to athletics and sexual assault and Title IX (issues) on campus.

Job change over the next 10 years

The business model of higher education is going to have to evolve and the role of risk manager is going to need to be someone who can work in a changing environment… mitigating risk but understanding that we will need to take risks to be successful.

Advice to someone starting in the business

Avoid the early career job-hopping where you can. Unless it’s a necessary move, don’t do it for the 10% (increase in salary) here and there. Build credibility and those increases will come over time.

Hobbies and interests

Whenever I can get some down time, I try to spend it with family. Over the winters, I play in a platform tennis league in Chicago.

Dream vacation

Seychelles Islands off Africa.

Favorite meal

If I am out to a nice meal I enjoy a great seared tuna steak. If not, I am a huge fan of Buffalo wings.


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