News release | Thomas Lawrence
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (September 6, 2023) – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the world’s largest educator-only pension fund, is pleased to announce the promotion of Julie Donegan to Real Estate investment director.
In her new role, Donegan provides real estate investment expertise to CalSTRS staff and the Teachers’ Retirement Board; executes the board’s Real Estate Investment Policy; shares expertise on Real Estate Portfolio management strategies; represents CalSTRS on advisory boards, industry governance councils, roundtables and industry-wide forums; and is a member of CalSTRS’ senior leadership team.
Donegan replaces Mike DiRè, whom Donegan reports to and is now CalSTRS’ senior investment director of private markets.
“Julie is the right person at the right time to lead the CalSTRS Real Estate team,” DiRè said. "Her experience working in the public and private sectors along with her collaborative personality give Julie the ability to manage CalSTRS’ unique portfolio of investments and investment managers through the current challenging market environment and into the future. In addition, Julie’s passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and sustainable investing keeps Real Estate aligned with the Teachers’ Retirement Board and its goals.”
Donegan joined CalSTRS as a Real Estate portfolio manager in 2019, most recently focusing on residential assets while serving as interim director of Real Estate. As a portfolio manager, Donegan oversaw Fairfield, CalSTRS’ largest real estate operating partner; played a lead role in a key affordable housing investment in California; and participated on internal net zero and diversity, equity and inclusion teams.
Before joining CalSTRS, Donegan worked 15 years in the private sector, most recently as a senior vice president for Franklin Templeton in Sacramento. Donegan has been consistently active in the real estate industry throughout her career with notable organizations, such as the Pension Real Estate Association, Urban Land Institute and Commercial Real Estate Women.
Donegan is CalSTRS’ first female Real Estate director.
“I am honored to serve in this role,” Donegan said. “I look forward to building upon the foundation of success established by Mike DiRè over the past two decades. Our Real Estate team is well positioned to navigate market challenges and opportunities to meet the needs of California’s public educators and help secure their retirement.”
Donegan holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix’s Sacramento campus and a professional advancement certificate in Oracle database management from California State University, Sacramento.
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CalSTRS provides a secure retirement to more than 1 million members and beneficiaries whose CalSTRS-covered service is not eligible for Social Security participation. On average, members who retired in 2021–22 had 25 years of service and a monthly benefit of $4,809. Established in 1913, CalSTRS is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world with $321.3 billion in assets under management as of July 31, 2023. CalSTRS demonstrates its strong commitment to long-term corporate sustainability principles in its annual Sustainability Report.