Mel Thomson leads Enterprise Risk Management at the City of Phoenix. She focuses mostly on uninsurable risks that can impact the city’s strategic plans and goals. Through consulting and facilitation, Mel works with city departments to engage with others in a formalized process to identify, assess, mitigate, and prioritize cross-cutting risks. This allows teams to manage and optimize their risks to either acceptable or unacceptable levels, while leveraging the upside of risks. She also works with leaders to craft their appetites to connect risks vertically and horizontally which produce risk-based decision making and value throughout the city.
Mel began in the benefits consulting arena and later transitioned into property and casualty at the State of Arizona’s Department of Administration in the Risk Management Division. She was the Risk Administrator for the City of Maricopa where she designed and implement a new risk division. Currently, Mel serves at the City of Phoenix’s Risk Management Division in the Finance Department.
Mel is the Education Chair for Arizona Public Risk Management Association’s Board (AZPRIMA). She also chairs the first State & Local Outreach Committee for the Association of Federal Enterprise Risk Management (AFERM). Mel received the 2023 Enterprise Risk Management Award from PRIMA. She has spoken at various associations including AFERM’s Annual Summit, AZPRIMA’s, PRIMA, and The Institute of Internal Auditors, Phoenix.
Mel started the ERM Book Club through AFERM which stemmed from desire to share incredible ERM information with other risk professionals under a casual self-study environment starting with the first book, Enterprise Risk Management: Todays Leading Research for Tomorrow’s Executive by John Frasier, Rob Quail, and Betty Simkins. Well over 150 readers have signed up from state, local, federal programs as well as guest authors occasionally attend the book club to contribute and share their insight about the chapter they wrote in the book with the readers.
She has a Masters in Administration from Northern Arizona University, Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and is an Enterprise Risk Management Certified Professional (ERMCP). She serves on the Advisory Council for Northern Arizona University’s Risk Management Insurance Certificate Program through the W.A. Franke College of Business.