This new occasional feature will look at people who have joined the University recently. If you have a suggestion, contact writer Marty Levine.
By MARTY LEVINE
Mark Anderson became Pitt’s first executive director of Enterprise Risk Management in the middle of an event that, if nothing else, defines “enterprise risk” — a pandemic that affected everything Pitt does.
Anderson started here on Oct. 5, 2020, but he is still bringing the Enterprise Risk Management message to parts of the University; he spoke to the University Times during his visit to the Bradford campus to address the president’s cabinet.
The Office of Risk Management itself has been around forever, managing insurance claims and devising ways to protect Pitt’s assets. Enterprise risk management, instituted by Chief Financial Officer Hari Sastry, is aimed at larger risks to the institution.
“What is the bigger picture and what can we do to mitigate risk … that may have cross- institutional impact,” Anderson explains. He says his office looks not just at preventing negatives but devising positive steps that Pitt must take to ensure its overall goals are achieved.
Anderson’s career has included some high-profile positions: Assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), prosecuting people committing fraud against the government, and New Jersey’s first Medicaid inspector general, pursuing those ripping off the health care program, under both Gov. Jon Corzine and Gov. Chris Christie.
An accounting degree from Penn State started it all, which led to jobs with a large accounting firm and then a large insurance company, as an internal auditor. But “an urgent itch to be a litigator,” Anderson says, drove him to law school, several law firms and finally his two government positions.
At Philly’s Thomas Jefferson University, he used his skills to develop their Enterprise Risk Management program, at a time when “they were exploding into health care, acquiring different health care facilities in the Philadelphia region,” he says.
He was pleased to bring that experience to Pitt because “I like the university side of things” best, he says. “Pitt is a really good big public university, and I was sold on the people. It was an opportunity to build something new, at a new place.”
Anderson keeps busy trying to watch his kids in athletic competitions — his oldest daughter ran track and field for William & Mary, a younger daughter is now running both cross country and track for George Mason University in Virginia, and a son plays football for Ursinus College outside Philadelphia.
When he ran track himself at Penn State, Anderson had meets at Pitt, and previous work brought him to Pittsburgh as well — but not recently. “That’s changed remarkably – it’s very pretty,” he says of a recent visit downtown. In fact, he hadn’t been here in so long that the Petersen Events Center, built in 2002, was new to him.
There was one constant about the town and campus that he’s found hard to forget: “I do remember it being hilly,” he says, “and it still is.”
Marty Levine is a staff writer for the University Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-758-4859.
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