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. In 2009, Mr. Strauss was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee, and reappointed in 2012.
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. In 2011, Ms. Alston was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee, and reappointed in 2013.
David S. Blitzstein established a consultancy in 2014 that provides professional trustee services and strategic advice to labor unions and employee benefit trust funds. During the prior 35 years, Mr. Blitzstein served as a collective bargaining expert on pension and health insurance and a multiemployer plan trustee for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Between 2006 and 2013, Mr. Blitzstein served as the Special Assistant for Multiemployer Plans for the UFCW. Between 1990 and 2006, Mr. Blitzstein served as the Director of the Negotiated Benefits Department of the UFCW, and was responsible for providing collective bargaining advice on health insurance and pension issues to the UFCW's 600 local unions and 150 trust funds. Mr. Blitzstein was employed by the United Mine Workers of America as Director of Special Projects from 1984 to 1989. Mr. Blitzstein earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Master of Science in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In 2011, Mr. Blitzstein was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee, and reappointed in 2014.
Donald J. Butt serves on the Board of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association, and is active with the Committee for the Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA). Prior to his current engagements, Mr. Butt worked for 40 years at Qwest Communications, retiring as the vice president for operations and defined contribution plans for Qwest Asset Management Co. in 2010. While at Qwest, he was responsible for the design, investment management, and selection of investment options in the company's $3 billion 401(k) plan. He was also part of the senior leadership team responsible for the investment and management of $10 billion in additional employee retirement assets. Mr. Butt has a Bachelor of Science from Metropolitan State College in Denver and an MBA from the University of Denver. In 2014, Mr. Butt was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee.
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 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. In 2013, Ms. Diamonte was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee.
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. In 2011, Ms. Mader was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee, and reappointed in 2014.
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. In 2011, Mr. Salisbury was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee, and reappointed in 2014.