Josh Gotbaum is Director (CEO) of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. PBGC has about 2,400 people (including contractors), assets of some $85 billion, obligations of $119 billion, and guarantees pension benefits for more than 40 million people.
Director Gotbaum was appointed to the position by the President and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010. Since then, Mr. Gotbaum has been a forceful advocate for preserving pension plans whenever possible and for other actions to strengthen retirement security. He has worked both within government and with the private sector to expand retirement options. He led PBGC's successful efforts to oppose American Airlines' plans to terminate its pensions, thereby preserving pension benefits for its 100,000+ employees. He also spearheaded efforts to strengthen PBGC's finances by reform of PBGC's premiums to encourage fairer rates. In 2012, Mr. Gotbaum was honored by Institutional Investor magazine with its Outstanding Contribution Award for his work to preserve pension plans.
For more than three decades, Mr. Gotbaum has helped manage and advise public, private, and nonprofit institutions. From 2003-2005, he led and managed the successful reorganization of Hawaiian Airlines as its Chapter 11 trustee. When it emerged from Chapter 11, Hawaiian's creditors were repaid in full, most of its employees received raises, and its defined benefit pension plan remained in place. In 2001-2002, he was the first CEO of The September 11th Fund, a charity with over $500 million in assets whose grants helped more than 100,000 people and businesses affected by the attacks.
For more than a decade, Mr. Gotbaum was an investment banker with Lazard in New York and London. He advised businesses, unions and governments on a diverse range of mergers, acquisitions, and restructurings, in steel, transportation, and other industries. Most recently, he was an operating partner at Blue Wolf Capital, helping investors acquire, restructure, and manage businesses.
Mr. Gotbaum also has extensive experience in government. During the Clinton administration, he was confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis three times, and served as Executive Associate Director and Controller in the Office of Management and Budget; Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Economic Policy; and Assistant Secretary of Defense. During the administration of President Carter, he served in multiple positions on the White House staff and in the Department of Energy.
Prior to his current government service, Mr. Gotbaum was a director of TD Bank and Safety-Kleen, and a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers Visiting Committee for the Kennedy School of Government.Mr. Gotbaum holds degrees from Stanford, Harvard Law School, and from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He is married to Joyce Thornhill, a former banker, and is the father of 3 teenagers. In his spare time, he sings.