Executive Staff

Executive staff

Overview

The CalSTRS Executive staff are committed to administering the direction set by the Teachers’ Retirement Board and are responsible for day-to-day operations of the system.

Profile

Cassandra Lichnock
Chief Executive Officer

Cassandra Lichnock

Cassandra Lichnock is the first female chief executive officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Her first day as CEO was July 1, 2021.

As CEO, Lichnock builds and executes strategy, delivers on operational excellence, and maintains a strong relationship with the Teachers’ Retirement Board. She continues to lead organizational efforts to modernize CalSTRS systems and processes, build on the pension fund’s commitments to sustainability and diversity, and focus on evolving CalSTRS’ culture as the organization plans for a post-pandemic future.

Profile

Lisa Blatnick
Chief Operating Officer

Lisa Blatnick smiles, wearing a suit jacket.

Lisa Blatnick is the chief operating officer at CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world.

As COO, Blatnick oversees Audit Services, Enterprise Strategy Management, Administrative Services, Benefits and Services, Public Affairs, Technology Services and the Ombuds office.

Profile

Brian J. Bartow
General Counsel

Brian J. Bartow

Brian Bartow is the general counsel of CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world​​​​​​​​​. He is the primary legal adviser to the Teachers’ Retirement Board and heads the fund’s Legal Services team, as well as its Office of Ethics and Compliance, Office of Information Security and Community Property Division.

Profile

Scott Chan
Deputy Chief Investment Officer

photo of Scott Chan

Scott Chan joined CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world, as the deputy chief investment officer in August 2018. Chan oversees CalSTRS’ investment division and is responsible for leading a diverse and growing team of over 200 investment professionals. He manages eight critical investment functions including investment strategy and risk, global equities, fixed income, real estate, private equity, risk mitigating strategies, inflation sensitive and sustainable investment and stewardship strategies. His position reports directly to Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman.

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Ashish Jain
Chief Technology Officer

Ashish Jain

Ashish Jain is the Chief Technology Officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world​​​​​. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of a traditional defined benefit, cash balance and defined contribution plans, as well as disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves more than 949,000 members and benefit recipients. CalSTRS administers retirement benefits for California’s public-school educators in grades kindergarten through community college.

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Melissa Norcia
Chief Administrative Officer

Melissa Norcia

Melissa Norcia is the chief administrative officer at CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world.

As CAO, Norcia leads human resources, procurement, facilities management, business continuity and sustainability. She also partners with the chief operating officer and other executives in overseeing multiple mission-critical projects, including the expansion of the CalSTRS Headquarters office in West Sacramento and management of internal resources that support the CalSTRS Collaborative Model, an investment strategy that brings more assets in-house to reduce costs.

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William “Bill” Perez
Chief Benefits Officer

Bill Perez

William “Bill” Perez is the chief benefits officer at CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. Perez provides high-level oversight and management of all retirement, disability and survivor benefits, member account services, benefits planning and customer contact program operations in leading CalSTRS’ largest branch. His position reports directly to CalSTRS’ Chief Operating Officer Cassandra Lichnock.

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Teresa Schilling
Chief Public Affairs Officer

Teresa Schilling

Teresa Schilling is the Chief Public Affairs Officer at CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world​​​​​​. Schilling provides strategic leadership and guidance to the Teachers’ Retirement Board, executives and the CalSTRS organization on policy, communications and stakeholder programs and issues.

Profile

Julie Underwood
Chief Financial Officer

Julie Underwood Calstrs cfo

Julie Underwood is the chief financial officer at CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. Underwood was the former CFO at the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA), responsible for the accounting and financial reporting operations of a $9.9 billion multiple-employer defined benefit pension plan.