Buenrostro, 52, is currently chief deputy director of the state Department of Personnel Administration and a long-time representative on the CalPERS Board, according to the fund. As CEO, Buenrostro will oversee the System’s 1,600 employees, a budget of more than $241.4 million, and operations spanning investments, health and retirement benefits administration, actuarial and employer services, and other supplemental programs at the $135 billion fund.
Buenrostro replaces James E. Burton who left in August to take on the top job at the World Gold Council (see CalPERS CEO Burton Goes for the “Gold” ). Burton had led the nation’s largest public pension fund for nearly eight years.
According to CalPERS, Buenrostro was selected from a field of 14 candidates in a search process run by Heidrick & Struggles. He has more than 20 years’ experience in public service, including more than 12 years on both the CalPERS and State Teachers Retirement System boards – having served as the representative to these boards for two state controllers and three state treasurers.
Prior to serving as chief deputy director of the Department of Personnel Administration, he was deputy controller of the California State Controller’s Office (1992-1999). Between 1985 and 1992, he served as legal counsel/deputy treasurer. His long career in government also included service as assistant executive secretary of the Victims of Violent Crimes Program for the State Board of Control between 1981 and 1985.
He earned his bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and his law degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. He resides in Sacramento.