Defined Benefit, Institutional Investors, Pension Funds

CalSTRS Taps New CFO 

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System has hired Julie Underwood as its chief financial officer. Underwood, who replaces Robin Madsen who retired at the end of March, will start on July 16.

Underwood joins CalSTRS from the $9.9 billion San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association, a multiple-employer defined benefit pension plan, where she had been the CFO since 2010, according to an announcement from CalSTRS.

“Julie has all the technical public pension finance and accounting acumen we were searching for plus the energy, attitude and work ethic that fits in perfectly with CalSTRS workplace culture,” said Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes, in a released statement. “The hiring process for an executive position is by default challenging. And I think hiring for our CFO takes the challenge to a higher level given the extensive requirements for risk management, financial accountability and oversight of internal controls for our multi-billion dollar organization. Julie’s passion for the work and known ability to engage with a workforce as diverse as ours made the process easier.”

“I am very excited to be joining such a prestigious organization,” Underwood stated in the release. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with a team so committed to CalSTRS’ mission and core values. I am eager to contribute my skills and experience, while at the same time learning from staff so that each day we create value for all of CalSTRS’ stakeholders.”

Prior to her tenure in San Bernardino, Underwood held various and progressively responsible accounting and tax positions with the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino, and public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young.

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