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Melissa Norcia announced as new CalSTRS CAO

Norcia joined CalSTRS in 2009 and has served as the director of human resources for the last 6 years

News release | Rebecca Forée

Photo of Melissa Norcia
Melissa Norcia

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (September 7, 2021) – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the world’s largest educator-only pension fund, today announced the appointment of Melissa Norcia as the chief administrative officer (CAO). She replaces Lisa Blatnick, who became CalSTRS’ chief operating officer in August 2021. Norcia’s first day as CAO will be September 15, 2021.

In her new role, Norcia will lead human resources, procurement, facilities management, business continuity and sustainability. She will also partner with the chief operating officer and other executives in overseeing multiple mission-critical projects, such as the expansion of the headquarters office in West Sacramento and management of internal resources that support an investment strategy known as the CalSTRS Collaborative Model, which brings more assets internally to reduce costs.

“Melissa has been a proven leader with an unwavering commitment to CalSTRS in her role as the director of Human Resources and she will bring the same level of leadership, skill and passion to this new role,” said Lisa Blatnick.

Norcia joined CalSTRS in 2009 as the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer and was promoted to various leadership roles before being appointed as director of Human Resources in 2015. As director, Norcia led the human resources division and executed CalSTRS’ strategic workforce goals and objectives. She has also served as staff support to the Teachers’ Retirement Board Compensation Committee. Her leadership experience includes growing and managing various human resources programs, including EEO, talent management, payroll and benefits, workforce development and planning, executive compensation, diversity and inclusion, organizational development and operations.

“I am honored to join CalSTRS’ executive team and to continue supporting the Teachers’ Retirement Board in delivering our promise of a secure retirement for our educators,” said Norcia. “I really appreciate CalSTRS’ culture of learning and how we recognize employee engagement. I’m looking forward to leading the Administrative Services Branch and maintaining the partnerships that our COO Lisa Blatnick has worked so hard to develop over the years.”

Norcia is a native of Sacramento and holds certificates in labor-management relations and human resources development and management from the University of California, Davis.

Media contact

Rebecca Forée
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 and beneficiaries whose CalSTRS-covered service is not eligible for Social Security participation. In 2019-20, members retired on average after more than 24 years in the classroom with a monthly benefit of about $4,614. Established in 1913, CalSTRS is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world with $310.9 billion in assets under management as of July 31, 2021. CalSTRS demonstrates its strong commitment to long-term corporate sustainability principles in its annual Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Report. For more information, visit