Jack Nicholson, Ph.D.

Dr. Jack Nicholson is the Chief Operating Officer of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) for the State Board of Administration of Florida. He is also on the board of directors and is the President of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Finance Corporation, a statutorily created public benefit corporation created for the purpose of facilitating the issuance of bonds following a major catastrophe. In addition, Dr. Nicholson serves on the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology (Commission) and served as its chair for the first two years. The Commission was created as a panel of experts in 1995 by the Florida Legislature for the purpose of providing guidelines and standards in the review and evaluation of hurricane computer models used to project losses in residential property rate filings. At the State Board of Administration, Dr. Nicholson has the additional responsibility of overseeing the Insurance Capital Build-up Incentive Program.

Prior to coming to the State Board of Administration in September of 1994, Dr. Nicholson worked for the Florida Department of Insurance for eight years. At the Department, Dr. Nicholson held the positions of Director of the Office of Insurance Research and Data Analysis, Deputy Director of Property and Casualty Insurers, Assistant Director of Rating, and Bureau Chief of Rates. Dr. Nicholson was involved in many of the regulatory activities following Hurricane Andrew. These activities ranged from data collection and analysis to operating the Department’s Miami Insurance Center. He served as the Insurance Department’s liaison with the State Board of Administration regarding the FHCF from its inception and has played a major role in its implementation and development.

He received his Ph.D. in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia in 1980 where he also earned his undergraduate degree in Business with a major in insurance. He received an M.B.A. from the University of North Dakota while serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Nicholson also has the professional designations of C.L.U. (Chartered Life Underwriter) and C.P.C.U. (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter). He has taught in the area of Risk Management and Insurance at the University of Georgia, the University of Iowa, and Florida State University.

Sue Ellen Smith, Program Director

Sue Ellen Smith, Program Director for the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, joined the Center when it began operations in January 2008. Working with the Center Director, Ms. Smith contributes to Center research projects by researching past and current property insurance issues and trends. In addition to research, she oversees the Center's outreach and education efforts, with an emphasis on providing historical references and content, along with current event tracking.

She created the content and architecture for the Center's main Web site at, managed a complete redesign and expansion of the site in 2012, and produces and manages daily site content. Additionally, she manages content for the Center's Catastrophic Risk Financing research portal at, which provides easy access to published academic and industry research.

She writes and produces publications for the Center including annual reports and other outreach publications, manages the Center's outreach efforts, tracks and reports the Center's progress towards its legislative-mandated mission, and develops and manages conferences and symposia. 

Ms. Smith was given a 2013 Core Values Award by the Florida State University College of Business. She has more than 20 years of experience in issue research, program development, fundraising, and communications for academic institutions and nonprofit organizations. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.