New Executive Director For Pension Oversight Agency

After a comprehensive search process by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) that spanned several months, the agency’s Commissioners voted to appoint Assistant Deputy Director Bill Keefe as the new PERAC Executive Director.

Keefe succeeds John Parsons, who served as Executive Director for the past 5 years after serving as the agency’s General Counsel for several years prior to his appointment. When he retired, Parsons had 43 years of state service including a number of years as Deputy Auditor for Audit Operations within the State Auditors’ Office, a PERAC Commissioner and member of the Teachers’ Retirement Board.

The PERAC Commission’s decision to stay within the agency was especially rewarding to Parsons, “I think it is fair to say that the Commission has a comfort level with the staff and direction of PERAC and decided to maintain that effort. At the same time they made an excellent choice in Bill Keefe.”

Bill Keefe, in his capacity as Assistant Deputy Director at PERAC, was responsible for the management of legislative priorities, as well as the Audit, Compliance and Communication Units. He had served as Director of Audit Planning under State Auditor Suzanne Bump and various other capacities for over 23 years. He holds a degree in Journalism and Political Science from Syracuse University and was a former reporter at the Metro West Daily News.

The Commission’s appointment of Bill Keefe represents the fourth Executive Director since PERAC’s creation in 1997. Bob Stalnaker, former Alaskan State Retirement Board Director, was named as the first leader of the independent state pension oversight commission that was created to address certain disability retirement issues surfacing in the mid-90s. His tenure was short lived, departing after less than a year for family reasons.

When Stalnaker stepped down, acting Executive Director Joseph Connarton was elevated from his Deputy’s position and served for more than 20 years. Joe, who is currently serving as the Association’s Treasurer, was also pleased with the Commission’s decision

“Each time when the position of Executive Director was vacant, the Commission rightly conducted an open, competitive and comprehensive search process with the goal of selecting the very best person for the demanding position. Each time as the process was concluded an in-house candidate was selected, which speaks to the strong senior management leadership of this agency.

“This process has yet again proven the Commissioners’ belief in the direction of the agency and commitment to continuing that direction. I congratulate Bill on his appointment and wish him well moving forward.”

Association President Frank Valeri offered the following. “Throughout Joe’s tenure, PERAC strove to be a unique pension oversight agency, encouraging excellence, efficiency, but fair and reasonable administration of the 104 retirement systems of the Commonwealth. Its effectiveness continued with the appointment of General Counsel John Parsons as Executive Director 5 years ago, who continued to emphasize the concept of the agency’s collaborative role for the success of the Board’s operations and management.

“With the resounding success of most all of the retirement systems within the Commonwealth over the past two decades, we are confident that the legacy of PERAC’s effective oversight will continue under the leadership of Bill Keefe and the outstanding professional staff of this all important agency.”


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