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CalSTRS appoints Teresa Schilling as Chief Public Affairs Officer

News release | Thomas Lawrence

Teresa Schilling
Teresa Schilling

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (January 21, 2021) – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the world’s largest educator-only pension fund, announced the appointment of Teresa Schilling as Chief Public Affairs Officer effective January 25.

Schilling will provide strategic leadership and guidance to the Teachers’ Retirement Board, executives and the CalSTRS organization on policy, communications and stakeholder programs and issues. Her position reports directly to CalSTRS Chief Operating Officer Cassandra Lichnock.

“Teresa will be able to draw on her extensive background in both the public and private sectors to enhance our connections with members, stakeholders, legislators, regulators and the media,” Lichnock said. “We welcome her leadership as we continue to deliver in our mission of securing the financial future of California’s educators.”

Schilling will oversee three divisions within Public Affairs—Communications, External Affairs and Governmental Relations—as part of CalSTRS’ executive team.

“Our state’s educators inspire me, and I’m excited to join CalSTRS to work on their behalf,” Schilling said. “I’m eager to deepen our relationships with members and stakeholders as we work with our partners in the legislature and throughout the state on behalf of our membership and organization.”

Prior to joining CalSTRS, Schilling was the assistant director for public affairs and communications for the California Department of Conservation, where she directed crisis communications and served as a senior adviser for the leadership team working on cross-divisional programs and strategies.

Schilling also served as assistant executive director for media communications at the California Energy Commission, held several policy positions in the California State Senate and served as press secretary for Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

As a strategic communications specialist for Lincoln Crow Communications, Schilling handled strategic planning, organizing and communications on public engagement campaigns for businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. She has also been a grassroots organizer and communications specialist at the state and national levels, working to advance environmental initiatives at several organizations, including the Sierra Club.

Schilling graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

Media contact

Thomas Lawrence
Phone: 916-414-1440
M-F, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. PDT

About CalSTRS

CalSTRS provides a secure retirement to more than 975,000 members whose CalSTRS-covered service is not eligible for Social Security participation. Members retire on average after more than 24 years in the classroom with a monthly benefit of approximately $4,547. Established in 1913, CalSTRS is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world with approximately $283.4 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020. CalSTRS demonstrates its strong commitment to long-term corporate sustainability principles in its annual Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Report. For more information, visit