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Dr. Brenda Powell Wells

Professor and Director, East Carolina University

Contact Info

Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk and Insurance
Associate Professor and Director
Risk Management and Insurance Program
College of Business
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: (252) 481-2777


Dr. Brenda Powell Wells writes the risk and insurance higher education scene column for

Dr. Wells holds both a bachelor of business administration and a doctor of philosophy in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia. She also holds the Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Accredited Advisor of Insurance, and Construction Risk Insurance Specialist designations.

Dr. Wells has spent over 30 years studying and teaching risk management and insurance. In 2009, she was hired to build a new risk management and insurance program at East Carolina University (ECU). She presently serves as the director of that program and is the Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk Management and Insurance.

During her career, she has taught "Principles of Insurance," "Risk Management," "Commercial Liability Insurance," "Commercial Property Insurance," "Insurance Company Operations," "Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning," and "Senior Topics in Finance." She has also supervised countless internships and independent study projects.

She is the faculty advisor to ECU’s Gamma Iota Sigma—Beta Theta Chapter. She has a long history of forming, supporting, and mentoring student organizations and has a wide range of experience in public relations and fund-raising. She is the founder of the Texas Risk and Insurance Professional Society, a nonprofit entity that supports insurance education. She has a career fund-raising total of well over $2 million.

Dr. Wells has published articles in the Journal of Risk and Insurance, Journal of Insurance Regulation, Journal of Insurance Issues, CPCU Journal, Risk Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Small Business Institute Journal, Journal of Applied Business Research, Journal of Applied Risk Management and Insurance, and Journal of Risk Education. Her current research interests include mass tort litigation in the pharmaceutical industry, the effect of marijuana legalization on the insurance industry, social media, cyber liability, and how insurance education impacts public attitudes toward the insurance industry. Her publication in the Journal of Insurance Issues on marijuana legalization and its impact on property and casualty insurance is considered the seminal paper in this field.

Outside of her duties in academia, Dr. Wells serves as a private consultant and corporate trainer to the insurance and risk management industry. A sought-after public speaker, she can educate and entertain groups of all sizes and backgrounds. She has also served as an expert witness and consultant on several court cases. Her consulting firm—Risk Education Strategies—offers social media consulting, custom seminar delivery, preparation of expert opinions and testimony, continuing education course delivery, agency valuation, risk management audits, and intellectual patent application review. More information about her firm can be found at

Nationally, Dr. Wells is a member of the Western Risk and Insurance Association (WRIA) and the Southern Risk and Insurance Association (SRIA). She is a past-president of SRIA and the 2012 president of WRIA.

Dr. Wells is an artist as well as a jewelry artist. She has created a series of paintings for several beach houses in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and has also developed quite a following for her custom pet portraits. A do-it-yourselfer, she enjoys gourmet cooking and decorating her home with handmade art objects. She has performed as a stand-up comic at the Addison Improv in Dallas, Texas, and at Hyena's Comedy Club in Arlington, Texas. She won the "Bodacious Crowd Pleaser" award at the Blue Night of the Stars Talent Show at the University of North Texas. Dr. Wells resides in Greenville, North Carolina.


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