CalSTRS Seeks a Director of Global Equities

June 24, 2008 ( - The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) has launched a national search for a Director of Global Equities to oversee a portfolio valued at more than $100 billion.

The search was launched following the retirement of Elleen Okada who took the reins as Director of Global Equities 11 years ago. Okada arrived at CalSTRS 36 years ago as an accountant and rose through the investment ranks, according to CalSTRS. She took leave on March 28, 2008 but her retirement becomes effective November 1.

Position Requirements

According to a press release, the incoming director will report to the Chief Investment Officer, and is expected to provide leadership to investment staff and investment expertise to the Teachers’ Retirement Board on U.S. and non-U.S. equity investments. The position directs both internal and external investment managers and provides strategic direction for CalSTRS largest asset class.

“This position requires a strategic thinker who can be both visionary and adroit at navigating a sophisticated global investment environment,” said CalSTRS CIO Christopher J. Ailman in a statement. “The person holding this position will exercise a high level of independence and discretionary judgment over nearly two-thirds of the $170 billion CalSTRS investment portfolio.”

Among the director’s duties are:

  • Strategic goal setting for the Global Equity Portfolio
  • Leading, managing and mentoring CalSTRS’ global equities team of 11 staff members
  • Overseeing the activities of more than 30 external managers
  • Conducting research and provide industry leadership

When Okada arrived at CalSTRS, investment assets totaled $2.4 billion and the pension plan was funded at about 30%, according to the announcement, which noted that today assets are nearly 71 times that value and the pension plan is funded at 87%.

For More Information

CalSTRS has hired EFL Associates to conduct the search. Interested candidates are invited to submit a resume and cover letter to: Executive Vice President Mary Hobson at

Established 95 years ago, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is the second-largest public pension fund in the United States. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 813,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.