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Highmark Health inaugurated the FAIR chapter in Pittsburgh

By Deepali Kochhar and Sara Dominick

On February 20th, Highmark Health and The FAIR Institute joined together for the inaugural Pittsburgh Factor Analysis and Information Risk (FAIR) Chapter. The inaugural meeting brought more than 50 local participants, including subject matter experts in risk management and business leaders alike, to discuss the future of security and risk management through the means of quantification.

Chapter Highlights
Opening remarks were given by Brad Carvellas, Director of Governance, Risk and Compliance at HM Health Solutions and was followed by Omar Khawaja, Vice President of Highmark Health. Special guest speakers included Steve Tabacek, Co-Founder and President of RiskLens and Dr. Jack Freund, Director at TIAA and author of Measuring and Managing Information Risk: A FAIR Approach, gave insightful and thought- provoking presentations on the future of risk quantification.

“We chose to start the FAIR chapter to help figure out the best practices for implementing and understanding the FAIR methodology, “ -Omar Khawaja, VP at Highmark Health

During Steve Tabacek’s presentation, the audience was given more visibility into the overall framework of FAIR and how it can be leveraged to calculate risks to ensure well informed decisions can be made. Dr. Jack Freund further expanded on Steve’s sentiments that FAIR represents the best way to think about risk and provide advice to the audience on how to work FAIR into their respective areas of the industry.

Final thoughts were shared with the group by the Cyber Risk Management team through a panel discussion, “FAIR from a Practitioner’s Perspective.” The panelists brought to light some of the challenges that the team went through while incorporating FAIR and how they experienced making a large change to the organization as a whole.
What to look forward to at the next FAIR Chapter of Pittsburgh Meeting:

With the next meeting only a few months away, the chapter committee will look to include industry professionals from around Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. Here are some things to look forward to in the coming months:

  • Industry leader led Chapter presentations
  • Collaboration with local business partners to propel the common language of risk
  • Quarterly meetings
  • Workshops and networking opportunities
  • …And so much more!

Keep an eye out for upcoming FAIR Chapter events.


  • Hello, I'm new to FAIR and sorry I missed the first meeting, particularly the Practitioner’s Perspective and challenges that the team went through while incorporating FAIR. Are there plans for another meeting? Thanks!

  • I am new to the group as well and I agree with Mr. Denne on when another Pittsburgh Chapter meeting would occur. I am very excited on collaborating with local people on their experiences with IT Risk Management and their use of FAIR concepts.

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