Three Prominent Pension Fund Leaders Join Ceres Board of Directors

Three Prominent Pension Fund Leaders Join Ceres Board of Directors

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Saturday, April 2, 2022 - 7:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

April 2, 2022 /3BL Media/ - The sustainability nonprofit Ceres announced today that four new leaders - including three from the largest U.S. pension funds - joined its Board of Directors and President’s Council. The new Ceres board members are Comptroller Brad Lander from the Office of the New York City Comptroller; Marcie Frost the CEO of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS); and Kirsty Jenkinson the Investment Director at the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS).

Amir Kirkwood, the President and CEO of Virginia Community Capital, joined Ceres as its newest President’s Council member. President’s Council members serve as ambassadors for Ceres and enhance the organization’s impact through direct support, expertise, and outreach.

“We are excited to welcome our newest Board and President’s Council members to Ceres,” said Mindy Lubber, CEO and President of Ceres. “Their expertise and institutional partnerships are greatly valued and will go a long way in helping Ceres catalyze bolder private sector action and drive policy solutions throughout the economy to build a more just and sustainable net zero emissions future.”

Brad Lander

Comptroller Brad Lander
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander was elected to serve as the city’s budget watchdog and chief accountability officer on November 2nd, 2021. Comptroller Lander’s background in community organizing and urban planning informs his work to make government work better for all New Yorkers. First elected to the City Council in 2009, Comptroller Lander co-founded the Council’s Progressive Caucus and has a strong track record of partnering with community advocates to win transformative change for a more just and equitable city.

Marcie Frost

Ms. Marcie Frost
Marcie Frost joined CalPERS as chief executive officer (CEO) in October 2016. She is the ninth CEO and second woman to head America's largest pension fund. As CEO, Ms. Frost oversees an annual budget of $1.8 billion, an experienced team of 2,800 professionals, and three lines of business for the fund: pensions, health benefits, and investments. Prior to joining CalPERS, Ms. Frost spent 30 years as a public servant in Washington state.

Kirsty Jenkinson

Ms. Kirsty Jenkinson
Kirsty Jenkinson is the investment director for the Sustainable Investment and Stewardship Strategies (SISS) team for CalSTRS, the largest educator-only public pension fund in the world with an investment portfolio valued at over $320 billion. Ms. Jenkinson is responsible for managing over $10 billion in sustainability-focused investment strategies across public and private assets, overseeing CalSTRS’ stewardship activities, including corporate engagement and proxy voting, and outreach with the fund’s stakeholders. Prior to joining CalSTRS, Ms. Jenkinson was a managing director at Wespath Benefits and Investments in Chicago and was the director of the Markets and Enterprise Program at the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Amir Kirkwood

Mr. Amir Kirkwood
Amir Kirkwood is President and CEO of Virginia Community Capital (VCC), a statewide community development financial institution based in Richmond, VA. VCC is a nonprofit loan fund and a for-profit bank providing financing and technical assistance in support of small businesses, affordable housing, healthy food access, and clean energy. Mr. Kirkwood has more than 20 years of banking and economic development finance experience. Prior to joining VCC, he served at Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) as Chief Investment and Network Officer.

In joining Ceres, they said:

“Climate change is not only a threat to our planet, but a clear and significant risk to our economy,” said New York City Comptroller Lander. “The risks posed by rising temperatures and rising seas affect everyone, from our infrastructure to our food systems, so our strategies to address it must reach across all sectors too. I am thrilled to be joining the Ceres board of directors today and look forward to growing our work together as investors to integrate climate preparedness and mitigation across our economy.”

“Sustainability is at the heart of what we do at CalPERS: providing retirement benefits to our members for generations to come. There is no greater advocate for sustainable solutions than Ceres and their work is critical to driving progress in the capital markets. CalPERS is a global investor that relies on those markets to fulfill its mission and I’m thrilled to join the Ceres board. I look forward to taking a more active role in this important work,” said Ms. Frost.

“I am honored to join the Ceres Board of Directors to work alongside my fellow Directors and the entire Ceres staff in the mission to create a more sustainable and just economy,” said Ms. Jenkinson. “Ceres is perfectly positioned both to unleash the opportunities and overcome the challenges required to achieve our shared goal.”

“As a community development finance professional, I often see firsthand the effect of climate change in urban and rural communities, from the erosion of land and infrastructure, the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste, to the overall lack of resiliency in community to cyclical and event driven climate shocks. Ceres provides an opportunity for me to help connect community development financial institutions to investors who are seeking to understand how to affect change at the community level through better development practices and opportunities to help decarbonize small business practices,” said Mr. Kirkwood.

Learn more about the Ceres Board of Directors and the Ceres President’s Council.

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

Media Contact: Sara Sciammacco, sciammacco@ceres.org, 617-247-0700 ext. 172

CATEGORY: Environment