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Ailman praised for tenure as CIO in final board meeting

A group of smiling people giving thumbs up behind a conference table with nameplates.

At its May meeting, the Teachers' Retirement Board’s Investment Committee recognized and thanked Christopher J. Ailman for his nearly 24-year-long tenure as chief investment officer.

Ailman, who joined CalSTRS as CIO in October 2000, will step down as CIO on June 30, 2024, and retire at the end of 2024.

Board members and members of the public praised Ailman for his integrity, kindness, clarity and foresight, for how he cared deeply for California’s public educators, his enjoyment of speaking to and educating others, how he created a culture of collaboration at CalSTRS, and his never-ending supply of "dad” jokes. (Ailman's final was how he'd recently been to Legoland and saw how crowded it was. "People were lining up for blocks," he quipped.)

During his two decades overseeing the CalSTRS Investment Portfolio, Ailman helped CalSTRS overcome the internet bubble bursting in 2000–2002, and the economic effects of the 9/11 tragedy and the 2008 global financial crisis, among other obstacles. The portfolio grew from $109.6 billion in 2000 to $332.5 billion as of April 30, 2024.

His successor will begin on July 1, 2024.