Executive Voices in Sustainability 2018:

Executive Voices in Sustainability: James Flynn


What brought you to Yale?

I was looking for an MBA program that felt like it was looking forward to solve business challenges.  When I learned about the Sustainability EMBA at Yale, it seemed like a great fit between what interested me personally and what I wanted to achieve professionally.  In addition, I was really attracted to the way that SOM feels integrated into the rest of the Yale community.  Also, there is no good pizza in Seattle.   

How have you impacted sustainable practices in your career?

My company has been trying to figure out the intersection between sustainability concepts and how those concepts might be related to insurance risks.  Recently, we developed an insurance program specifically for “green” properties.  Our assumption is that more engaged management companies take sustainability seriously, therefore a more engaged management companies will likely lead to better insurance risks.  For more conventional properties, we offer property manager education on the benefits of sustainability.

What challenges do you see for sustainability in your industry?

Sustainability issues present the biggest challenge to running profitable insurance companies now and in the future.  The changing environment will have an impact on the way they industry models for property claims.  Changing attitudes around sustainability practices may impact judicial decisions and force companies and insureds to reconsider what their liabilities are.  Education will be the key to helping insureds realize that they have a stake in the sustainability discussion and ensuring that companies are pricing properly for the risk.

Tell us one thing about yourself that might surprise your classmates.

When I was in the Navy, I spend a week sailing through a typhoon off the coast of India.  So, basically, don’t ask me to go on a cruise.

Current Position

Firm:  Distinguished Programs
Position: Chief Operating Officer
Duration: 2+ Years (4+ years with the company)
Responsibility: Responsible for Underwriting, Program Management, Accounting, IT, and Operations coordination and strategy in Support of our Large Accounts Division. 

Contact Information

Email:  james.d.flynn1@gmail.com
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-flynn-58465124

This is part of a series of profiles featuring students in the Yale MBA for Executives program who have a focus on sustainability.