Furst Group

7210 East State St
Chicago, Illinois, 61108
United States




Gay Burns is a seasoned executive who has led strategic human resources and change management across publicly traded global organizations for more than 30 years. She’s held executive roles for 20 years in the reinsurance industry and played a pivotal role in post-merger integrations for large-scale business transformations, executive development, navigating reorganizations, technology and process advancements, regulatory changes, and skill evolutions. She specializes in CEO Succession, Strategy, HR Transformation, Human Capital/ESG/DEI Reporting, Operational Efficiency, Trust and Engagement, and leadership development. Her unique global perspective was broadened by extensive travel across five continents and living in Europe, enriching her understanding of cultures and communication. Prior to consulting, Gay held multiple HR roles of increasing responsibility at GE Capital, a division of General Electric, joining its Reinsurance business in 2001. Following an acquisition by Swiss Reinsurance, she relocated to their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, to serve as their first Managing Director of Global HR Operations, leading a 230-person team in 26 countries. Later, she became Managing Director of Global Talent Development, including a newly created diversity program. In 2011, Gay served as the first global Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and Executive Vice President at Reinsurance Group of America, Inc. (RGA) responsible for a 100-person team located across five continents, with additional responsibility for Corporate Communications and Operational Efficiency teams. She led two CEO succession transitions, with both CEOs being promoted from historically underrepresented groups. Likewise, she worked closely with the Board Chair to select their successor. Clients value Gay’s unique insight to create high-performance teams and navigate change. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Compensation Committee Chair for Webster University. Additionally, she was the founding Board Chair for the RGA Foundation and the Vice Chair and Governance Chair for FOCUS St. Louis as well as other local community steering committees. Gay holds a B. S. in Business Administration from Missouri Southern State University and an M. B. A. from Webster University. She is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt in Process and Change Management.