Samantha Kappagoda is Chief Economist and Co-Founder of Risk Economics, a New York based advisory firm. Her primary focus is economic analysis, and modeling trends and patterns across global asset classes, markets, regions, sectors and industries. Her areas of expertise and experience include portfolio strategy for foreign exchange, fixed income, commodities, and capital markets activity as well as econometric time-series and longitudinal analysis applicable to business cycle dynamics, retail consumer behavior, industrial and housing activity, consumption spending and labor income, income distribution related to health, aging, retirement, population and immigration, demographics and socioeconomic indicators.
Samantha currently serves as an Independent Director, Member of the Audit Committee and Chair of the Nominating Committee of Credit Suisse Mutual Funds, which are comprised of two closed-end funds (NYSE: DHY and CIK) and six open-end funds investing in commodity, quantitative and high yield and credit strategies.
Samantha also co-advises research activities at RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics, an industrial lab established in 2011 at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences NYU, to foster industry/academic collaboration and develop experimental testbeds applying a range of computational and analytical methods to high-dimensional datasets from innovative sources. She is also a Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute.
Samantha serves on the American Bar Association SciTech Section as Vice-Chair of the Big Data Committee and Vice-Chair of the Internet-of-Things Committee, having previously served as Vice-Chair of the Insurance Technology and Risk Committee from 2019-2023. In 2020, she was appointed as a technical advisor to the Uniform Law Commission Committee for Public Health Emergency Authorities, which studies the need for and feasibility of one or more uniform state laws addressing the authority of state governments to respond to epidemics, pandemics and other public health emergencies.
Ms. Kappagoda further pursues broader research interests by serving as a senior editorial advisory board member of The Journal of Risk Finance (JRF), an Emerald Publications journal which provides a rigorous forum for the publication, by academics and practitioners, of theoretical and empirical research related to the financing of risk and market response. She was the founding Managing Editor of JRF in 1999, initially published by Euromoney Institutional Investor, until the successful sale to its current publisher. She previously served as Special Editor for Risk Management for The Journal of Alternative Investments, also an Institutional Investor journal.
Previously, she served for over thirteen years as Senior Economist at Caxton Associates LP, a hedge fund with approximately $15 billion of assets under management (AUM), investing in global commodities, currencies, fixed income and equities. She was a key member of Caxton Global, the firm’s flagship global macro fund, where her analysis informed positioning and pricing for real-time trading decisions, and asset allocation. Her macroeconomic and demographic analysis, and development of proprietary econometric models employing high frequency financial market data combined with global economic data and central bank and related policy actions, guided the firm’s senior portfolio managers, particularly during market disruptions including geopolitical and fiscal crises, and weather and catastrophe related supply chain disruptions.
Prior to working in the financial markets, Samantha was employed as an Economist in the Operations Evaluation Department at The World Bank in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities included evaluating structural adjustment lending programs, with a primary focus on building computable general equilibrium models, in order to analyze the bank’s loan portfolio across emerging market countries.
Samantha received an M.B.A. in Analytic Finance, International Business and Statistics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She also earned an M.A. in Economics, with concentrations in Industrial Organization and Monetary Economics, from the University of Toronto, and graduated with a B.Sc. (Honors) in Mathematics from Imperial College London.
In addition to her professional activities, Samantha has over twenty-five cumulative years of non-profit board service, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY), focusing on the GSGNY portfolio of STEM programs. She is also an active alumnus of the University of Toronto, and serves on the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship committee. She is a member of the Leadership Council of Black Rock Forest Consortium, a 4,000-acre natural living laboratory for field-based scientific research and education, operated by a consortium of twenty-three colleges and universities, public and independent schools, and scientific and cultural institutions. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Council for Economic Education, Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming, and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.
Her biography has been published in the Marquis’ publications Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Business (formerly Who’s Who in Finance and Industry), Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders, Who’s Who of American Women, and Canadian Who’s Who (Grey House Publishing). Prior to joining their board, she was honored by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York as a Woman of Distinction, for her accomplishments in STEM.