Advisory Committee Members
David M. Strauss of Bismarck, N.D., serves as chairman of the Advisory Committee. As PBGC executive director from 1997 to 2001, he presided over financial surpluses in both the single-employer and multiemployer insurance programs and put a high priority on the agency's mission to promote defined benefit pension plans. As deputy chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore from 1994 to 1997, he advised the vice president on economic and domestic policy issues, including wage and workplace protection, retirement security, health care, and trade. Mr. Strauss graduated magna cum laude from Moorhead State College with a Bachelor of Science in political science and secondary education. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. Mr. Strauss's term expires in February, 2015.
Cheryl Alston has been executive director for the Employees' Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas, Texas, since October 2004. She is also a member of the Council of Institutional Investors, the National Council of Public Employee Retirement Systems, the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems and the National Association of Securities Professionals. Ms. Alston also serves as vice-chair of the Volunteer Center of North Texas and a speaker at multiple industry conferences. She has an M.B.A. in finance from the Leonard N. Stern School at New York University and an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Alston's term ends in 2013.
David S. Blitzstein currently serves as the special assistant for multiemployer plans for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). He is also a trustee of six Taft-Hartley pension funds and a health fund representing half a million participants. Mr. Blitzstein was the director of the Negotiated Benefits Department of the UFCW from 1990 until 2006. He currently represents the UFCW as a member of the steering committee of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plan, serves as a director of the Pension Research Council of the Wharton School, and is a trustee of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension Systems. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a M.S. in labor studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Robin L. Diamonte is the chief investment officer for United Technologies Corp., where she oversees $50 billion in global retirement assets. Prior to that role, she spent 13 years with Verizon Investment Management as managing director of Global Investments. Diamonte is also a chair for the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA), representing more than 100 of the country's largest private sector retirement funds on fiduciary and investment issues in Washington. She also chairs the Pension Managers Advisory Committee (PMAC), which advises both the NYSE and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Markets Group on the impact of policies and market conditions on institutional investors. Diamonte earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of New Haven.
Joyce Mader is a partner with the Washington, DC, law firm of O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue LLP. In her practice, she specializes in legal issues related to employee benefit plan administration and compliance with federal law and regulations, with emphasis on multiemployer pension plans. She is a charter fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, a member of the governing Council of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section on Labor and Employment Law, and a frequent speaker before labor, industry and educational groups on issues concerning employee benefit plans. Ms. Mader is a former member and chair of the U.S. Department of Labor's ERISA Advisory Council. She graduated from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1976 and received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1973.
Dallas L. Salisbury is president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Before joining EBRI at its founding in 1978, he held positions with the Washington State Legislature, U.S. Department of Justice, Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, and PBGC. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the Comptroller General of the United States. Mr. Salisbury has been honored with the Award for Professional Excellence from the Society for Human Resource Management, Plan Sponsor Lifetime Achievement Award and Keystone Award of World at Work. He holds a B.A. degree in finance from the University of Washington and an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Harry J. Wilson is currently the chairman and CEO of MAEVA Advisors, LLC, a boutique firm specializing in corporate restructurings and turnarounds. Mr. Wilson is a career private equity and distressed investor, having spent most of his career at The Blackstone Group and Silver Point Capital, where he was a partner. Mr. Wilson has deep expertise in corporate restructuring and has invested across a broad array of asset classes throughout his career. In 2009, he was a senior member of the US Treasury Department team that oversaw the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler. He received an A.B. in government from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.