CalSTRS Names Head of Corporate Governance
Anne Sheehan to expand corporate governance efforts
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) announced today the appointment of Anne Sheehan to the newly created position of Director of Corporate Governance. She will join the staff in October to guide its corporate governance program to a higher level of activism.
“Anne’s depth of experience has been appreciated by the CalSTRS board. With her leadership in CalSTRS’ corporate governance, she will help bridge the gap between shareholders and the business community to address the current challenges,” said Dana Dillon, Teachers’ Retirement Board Chair and a teacher/librarian with the Weed Union Elementary School District.
Sheehan will provide key support to the CalSTRS board in the continuing pursuit of the highest standards of governance practices by portfolio companies. Her initial areas of focus will include better carbon emission reporting by portfolio companies and increased diversity on corporate boards. She will lead CalSTRS’ Workplan Program that seeks to turn around underperforming holdings through adoption of good corporate governance. Sheehan will also guide the day-to-day activities of a staff of eight. This group is responsible for the oversight of an activist investment management portfolio of $3 billion and execution of approximately 8,000 proxy votes annually.
“U.S. shareholders are the real beneficiaries of Anne Sheehan’s appointment as CalSTRS Director of Corporate Governance,” said Arthur Levitt, longest-service Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Already recognized as one of the nation’s most proactive governance voices, CalSTRS, in taking this action, sent a strong message to corporate and institutional America.”
“Anne will ‘up the ante’ built by our excellent corporate governance team,” Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman said. “Under Anne’s leadership, CalSTRS will continue as a strong and effective advocate for the best corporate citizenship practices.”
CalSTRS has been a major force in improving corporate governance since 1985. It is a founding member of the Council of Institutional Investors, a nonprofit association of major long-term shareowners. Elevating the position of corporate governance program manager to director status reflects the CalSTRS board’s growing interest in increasing the scope and impact of its corporate governance efforts, both domestically and internationally.
Sheehan comes to CalSTRS with nearly three decades of senior management and leadership experience addressing complex legislative, regulatory and public finance issues.
Most recently, she served as chief deputy director for policy of the California Department of Finance, where she served as a member of the CalSTRS board as well as on more than 40 other high-profile state boards, commissions and public authorities. Additionally, Sheehan had staff oversight responsibility for managing the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.
During her tenure with Governor Schwarzenegger, she has also been tapped by him to manage a number of his major projects and policy initiatives. During 2007, Sheehan was responsible for directing the commission that analyzed unfunded pension and health care liabilities of cities, counties and public agencies in California.
Sheehan also brings Washington policy experience, having served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs with the U.S. Department of Energy.
Her extensive career includes leadership positions in the private sector with California Building Industry Association and the California Building Industry Foundation. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and lives in Sacramento.
Established 95 years ago, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a $162 billion portfolio, is the second-largest public pension fund in the United States. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 813,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.