Debra Smith
Chief Operating Investment Officer

Deborah wearing a grey suit, red shirt and necklace

Debra Smith is Chief Operating Investment Officer (COIO) at CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. She reports directly to the Chief Investment Officer and to the Teachers’ Retirement Board on any investment policy non-compliance. Smith oversees four critical functions within the Investment Branch including Investment Operations, Investment Performance and Compliance, and Administration. She manages the branch’s operational services, including internal system controls, and risk mitigation efforts.

Smith began her tenure with CalSTRS in 1996, as a member of the Audits Branch. In 1998, she transitioned to the Investment Branch as an Associate Investment Officer, then as an Investment Officer III. She held the position of Investment Operations Director from 2010 until her appointment as COIO in 2014.

In December 2016, Smith was appointed to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) Standing Advisory Group and is currently serving a three-year term.

In her position as COIO, Smith represents CalSTRS at various investment and diversity conferences. She received the Leadership in Business Award in November 2016 from the Sacramento Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW). Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance and Marketing from California State University, Fresno.