New Leadership at Teacher Retirement System of Texas

August 31, 2011 ( - Brian Guthrie will become the new executive director of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and Ken Welch will become deputy director, effective September 1.


As executive director, Guthrie will oversee the pension plan and related benefits for TRS – the sixth largest public pension fund in the United States – which serves active and retired Texas public education and higher education employees.  According to the announcement, Guthrie has served as TRS deputy director since his selection by the TRS board in September 2008. He succeeds Ronnie Jung who will serve as executive liaison to the TRS board, assisting trustees and Guthrie during a period of transition through his retirement date of January 31, 2012.

Ken Welch, who has served as TRS’ chief financial officer since April 2008, has been appointed deputy director of TRS by Guthrie.

“I am humbled and honored to serve more than a million Texas public educators and retirees who depend on TRS for their retirement security. Our  system is strong today, but I am committed to making sure that it remains so, well into the next century,” said Guthrie.

According to a press release, as executive director, Guthrie’s immediate priorities include a legislatively mandated study of the TRS health care programs, TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare, as well as the multi-year TRS Enterprise Application Modernization (TEAM) program that he championed as deputy director. TEAM will replace aging legacy systems and improve internal processes to help ensure TRS continues to provide excellent service to its growing membership.

Prior to TRS, Guthrie was with the Texas Governor’s Office of Budget, Planning and Policy; served as a budget advisor to two lieutenant governors; and began his career at the Legislative Budget Board. 

 As TRS’ new deputy director, Welch’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • directing and overseeing TRS operations and administration;
  • providing leadership to agency executives and managers;
  • acting on behalf of the executive director in his absence;
  • assisting in communicating and coordinating with the TRS board of Trustees; and
  • representing TRS to members, government officials, the public and the media.

Prior to TRS, he was the director of enterprise budget and fiscal policy for the state’s Health and Human Services Commission. He also served at the Office of the Comptroller for more than 12 years, five as the director of fiscal management.

Jung has served the State of Texas for 37 years, the last 15 of them at TRS. While at TRS, in addition to serving as the executive director for nearly eight years, Jung served as the system’s chief financial officer and deputy director.

According to the announcement, TRS delivers retirement and related benefits authorized by the Texas Legislature and manages a $105 billion trust fund established to finance member benefits. More than 1.3 million public education and higher education employees and retirees participate in the system.