EBRI CEO Lori Lucas Announces Pending Retirement

Lucas will stay at the helm through the end of the year while helping the research group source its next leader.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute has announced that Lori Lucas, the research group’s president and CEO, will retire from the organization at the end of 2022. 

EBRI’s announcement notes that Lucas is actively involved in the organization’s search for and transition to a new leader and that she will continue to be fully engaged in leading the EBRI team and serving member needs through the end of the year.

While she has held the president and CEO role since 2018, Lucas’ professional history with EBRI dates back to 1999. She has held roles including vice chair and research chair, having moved into the top leadership position in the same year the organization celebrated its 40th anniversary.

EBRI’s announcement says Lucas has been instrumental in implementing a new vision for the research group, “one that took EBRI into the future while honoring and preserving the organization’s deep history, founding mission and established reputation as the premier research organization across all aspects of the employee benefits space.”

“Lori came in with a deep respect for EBRI and its mission, as well as an understanding of the quickly shifting paradigms and emerging trends that were redefining the employer/employee benefits industry,” says Joshua Cohen, chair of the EBRI board of trustees, in the announcement. “Her approach enabled us to stay nimble, responsive, accessible and relevant to our members, and to employers, policy makers, individual workers and the media.”

Under Lucas’ leadership, EBRI produced extensive and much-cited research and analysis on topics such as the emergence of gig workers, unique needs of Millennials, gaps in retirement plan coverage, the Baby Boomer retirement era, and expanding the traditional definition of employee benefits to include student loans, emergency funds and other aspects that contribute to overall financial wellness.

Lucas was also instrumental in the recent redesign of EBRI’s membership structure and in paving the way for connections with new companies and industries.

Back when she took on the role as president and CEO, Lucas told PLANSPONSOR she would seek to pursue a new vision for EBRI’s future as it marked its 40th anniversary. The key to the new vision, she said, was to make the group’s research “more relatable.”

She said she would be able to achieve this vision by relying on her industry background, and in particular her experience as Callan’s defined contribution practice leader and at Hewitt. She also emphasized that she would work to ensure EBRI remained a presence on Capitol Hill, providing key information to support federal policy decisions.

In taking on the leadership of EBRI, Lucas replaced Harry Conaway, who was president and CEO for two years, following the retirement of Dallas Salisbury, the founding president and CEO. Salisbury had held the role for more than 30 years.