Paul Dassenko, a 1982 graduate of University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and an international arbitrator, has been elected to the university's Board of Regents.
Dassenko, whose term began July 1, is the CEO and president of Risk Transfer Underwriting Inc., which he founded in 2011. He has been appointed to more than 250 arbitrations in the United States, South America, the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Singapore and Dubai. In 1989, he was tapped to oversee the asset recovery of more than $4.5 billion in the largest property-casualty insurance company insolvency of the 1980s.
"Paul's international expertise and the work he's done across the country puts him at the top of his field," said Kevin Huber, chair of the Board of Regents. "We are very fortunate once again that yet another Pacific alumnus is offering their skills to make Pacific outstanding for our students and the Pacific community. I look forward to working with Paul as a regent."
Dassenko began his professional career in 1976 as an underwriter at Travelers Insurance before moving on to underwriting for Swiss Reinsurance Corp. and American Re-Insurance Co. In 1989, the bankruptcy trustee handling the insolvency of Transit Casualty Co. in Los Angeles brought in Dassenko to oversee the asset recovery of more than $4.5 billion. He subsequently testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations about insurance solvency and the economic impact of insolvency.
He was later recruited to reorganize and restructure GIO, an Australian home and motor insurance provider, and later was president and CEO of reinsurer Converium's North American operations, restoring the fiscal strength of both firms.
Dassenko has used his business experience and legal background since 1993 to establish himself as an international commercial arbitrator. He has been certified as an arbitrator and umpire by ARIAS-U.S., the Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances's Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving the insurance and reinsurance arbitration process. Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances, or AIDA, is an international organization of attorneys and others interested in international insurance law and regulation. He is also listed on the panel of ARIAS (U.K.) arbitrators.
He has written decisions in English and Spanish in the United States, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and South America.
Dassenko received his undergraduate degree from Walla Walla University in 1974. He has completed post-graduate work in management and finance at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Dassenko, who gave the McGeorge commencement address in May, was featured in a video on how McGeorge influenced his life and the importance of giving back. He also serves on the law school's International Board of Advisers and recently attended a gathering to introduce Michael Hunter Schwartz, McGeorge's new dean, to European alumni and to visit with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and his wife, Mary.
Pacific's Board of Regents is entrusted with final responsibility for the quality and integrity of the education provided by the university. It selects the university president, approves the mission of the university, and ensures provision of adequate resources to support that mission. In addition, the board protects the university from external pressures antithetical to academic freedom and to university autonomy or integrity.