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Teachers' Retirement Board elects Bradford as chair, Yamamoto as vice chair

News release | Barbara Zumwalt

Denise Bradford and Karen Yamamoto
Board chair Denise Bradford and vice chair Karen Yamamoto

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 6, 2024) – At the Teachers' Retirement Board meeting on Thursday, May 2, the trustees of the California State Teachers' Retirement System elected Denise Bradford chair and Karen Yamamoto vice chair.

The 12-member board nominates and elects its chair and vice chair annually. The chair and vice chair provide board leadership, direction and policy development for CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world.

Bradford served as vice chair last year and was nominated by former chair and vice chair Sharon Hendricks. Bradford succeeds Harry Keiley, who served as chair the past four years.

"I want to thank my colleagues for putting their trust in me," Bradford said. "I'm proud to be leading the board and continuing to secure the financial future of my fellow California public educators."

Bradford is an elementary school teacher with the Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Southern California and was first elected to serve on the board in 2019. She has served as the president of the Saddleback Valley Educators Association and chair of the CTA Retirement Committee. She serves on the California Teachers' Association Board of Directors.

Yamamoto, who has served on the board since 2017, is a retired elementary school teacher from Sacramento. Yamamoto taught second grade for 15 years in West Sacramento before retiring in 2007. She was a member of the California Department of Education's Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission from 1999–2003, acting as chair in 2003. Yamamoto also served as a legislative assistant to several Assembly members in the California Legislature from 1978–1991.

"I am grateful to assume this role and will use my experience as a former teacher, a retired CalSTRS member and a veteran board member to help protect the Teachers' Retirement Fund," Yamamoto said. "What an honor to work on this board side by side with people who keep the needs of California's educators as the focus of our efforts."

Media contact

Barbara Zumwalt
Phone: 916-414-1440
M-F, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. PDT

About CalSTRS

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 2022–23 had 25 years of service and a monthly benefit of $5,141. Established in 1913, CalSTRS is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world with $336.2 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2024. CalSTRS demonstrates its strong commitment to long-term sustainability principles in its annual Sustainability Report.