Photo courtesy University of Maryland.

University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is planning an initiative targeting industry practitioners and students, allowing them to advance their knowledge and skills in risk management and provide innovative risk analytics tools and modeling capabilities to institutions.

The school, through its Office of Executive Education, will launch a Smith Enterprise Risk Consortium this summer to provide insights, applied research and risk analytics, risk management training programs, special events and a paid membership level for customized access to experts and training.

The consortium will position Smith “as an academic leader in applied risk management through thought leadership, education and outreach to industry and governmental organizations, and by formalizing industry ties to Smith students interested in careers in risk management,” said Clifford Rossi, professor of the practice and executive-in-residence for the Smith School.

Rossi will be director of the consortium and Mary Bittle Koenick, Smith’s associate director of executive education, will act as program director. “A community of practitioners with a vested interest in advancing the field of risk management will drive this initiative,” said Koenick.

Rossi, with 25 years of experience in risk management in banking and government, including managing director and chief risk officer for Citigroup’s Consumer Lending Division during the 2008 financial crisis, said “the timing is obviously critical; as we’ve seen with evolving climate change events and recent bank failures, crises don’t wait for organizations to get their risk management house in order.”

Rossi’s work spearheads this positioning. He recently directed Smith graduate students in a project with Freddie Mac yielding an interactive model that pinpoints U.S. regions with high climate risk and the implications for homeowners and the mortgage industry. A similar effort with Fannie Mae on flood risk is under way; both projects bolster Smith’s forthcoming graduate track in climate finance.