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Past PBGC Directors and Executive Directors

Past PBGC Directors and Executive Directors

Joshua Gotbaum
July 22, 2010 - September 2, 2014

Joshua Gotbaum photo

The Honorable Joshua Gotbaum led PBGC’s efforts to preserve multiemployer plans, which helped enable the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 and the preservation of pensions of more than 1,000,000. He led PBGC’s successful efforts to preserve the pensions of 130,000 American Airlines workers. He improved relations with business, labor, & Congress and ranked #4 on Institutional Investor’s Pension 40. Gotbaum created the customer satisfaction bonus (PBGC’s ratings increased by more than 10 points), acted to correct shortcomings in BAPD and IT, recruited new management for PBGC, and made many other changes. Before PBGC, he worked throughout government and in business and finance. He is now Guest Scholar at Brookings.


Charles E.F. Millard
December 14, 2007 - January 20, 2009

Charles E.F. Millard photo

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) provided that PBGC be headed by a Director appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. (From PBGC's creation in 1974 until passage of PPA, PBGC was led by an Executive Director appointed by PBGC's Chairman.) Charles E.F. Millard was the first Director to be Presidentially appointed and confirmed by the Senate. During his tenure, PBGC reduced its deficit and initiated a number of measures, including a more diversified investment policy, to increase the likelihood that PBGC will be able to meet its obligations in the long term. Prior to his appointment to PBGC, he was a Managing Director at Broadway Partners, a national real estate investment and management firm in New York.


Bradley D. Belt
April 21, 2004 - May 31, 2006

Bradley D. Belt photo

Bradley Belt realigned PBGC's corporate structure to achieve optimal use of the agency's resources and better address the agency's two principal lines of business: providing insurance coverage to ongoing pension plans and paying benefits to retirees in PBGC-trusteed plans. He oversaw PBGC's implementation of online services for its customers as well as the agency's conversion to mandatory e-filing of premiums and led the structuring and negotiation of the largest and most complex financial settlements in the history of PBGC. Prior to PBGC, he had been a financial industry executive, management consultant, and government relations strategist in the private sector, and his government service included senior staff positions with the Securities and Exchange Commission and U. S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.


Steven A. Kandarian
November 18, 2001 - February 13, 2004

Steven A. Kandarian photo

As Executive Director, Steven Kandarian made the public case for comprehensive reform of the pension funding rules to put the defined benefit system and PBGC on a sound financial footing. In addition, under Kandarian's leadership, PBGC adopted a new investment policy as a means of ensuring that its assets would be structured to better match liability durations. Prior to joining PBGC, Kandarian was founder and managing partner of Orion Partners, LP, where he managed a private equity fund specializing in venture capital and corporate acquisitions.


David M. Strauss
July 3, 1997 - January 20, 2001

David M. Strauss photo

David Strauss was appointed Executive Director of PBGC following nearly four years as Deputy Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore. To date, he has been the only Executive Director to preside over financial surpluses in both of the insurance programs throughout his tenure. He made the promotion of defined benefit pension plans and PBGC's delivery of premier customer service the agency's top priorities during his term of office. He also succeeded in securing enactment of the first increase in the benefit guarantee under the multiemployer program since the program's major reform in 1980, more than doubling the program's maximum guarantee.


Martin I. Slate
March 29, 1993 - February 24, 1997

Martin I. Slate photo

Under Martin Slate's guidance, PBGC reached new heights in its financial management and eliminated the deficits that had plagued it since its creation in 1974. He implemented an early warning program, still in use today, to prevent losses to plan participants and to the termination insurance program before they occur. In 1995, the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Ford Foundation recognized this unique program's success by presenting PBGC the Innovations in American Government Award. In addition, during his tenure PBGC secured its first clean audit opinion on its financial statements. He also played a leading role in securing passage of the Pension Reform Act of 1994, which gave PBGC new authority to help persuade corporations to reduce pension underfunding. The agency also embarked on a range of efforts to modernize its automated systems, streamline procedures, and improve communications with its customers, including its first Web site. He came to PBGC after serving as director of the Employee Plans Division of the Internal Revenue Service.


James B. Lockhart III
June 26, 1989 - January 22, 1993

James B. Lockhart III photo

James Lockhart joined PBGC at a time of mounting and increasingly worrisome deficits for the agency. He went to great lengths to shore up PBGC's finances and to focus public attention on the issue of pension underfunding. Among other measures, PBGC began publishing annually a "Top 50" list of the companies with the most underfunded plans, which garnered a great deal of attention. In addition, under his leadership PBGC was removed from GAO's High-Risk list. Before coming to PBGC, he had been Vice President and Treasurer of the insurance brokerage firm Alexander & Alexander.


Kathleen P. Utgoff
August 9, 1985 - June 26, 1989

Kathleen P. Utgoff photo

During her tenure, Kathleen Utgoff was instrumental in securing enactment of two major pension reform laws-the Single-Employer Pension Plan Amendments Act (SEPPAA) and the Pension Protection Act (PPA)- that addressed many of the structural flaws in the insurance program at the time. Under her guidance, PBGC reported increased premium revenues and improved fiscal stability.
She was senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President prior to her appointment to PBGC.


Charles C. Tharp
February 1, 1984 - April 1, 1985

Charles C. Tharp photo

Charles Tharp's contributions to PBGC included lowering administrative costs by 67 percent per participant and increasing benefit payments, while keeping the number of PBGC employees the same. He held several positions at PBGC. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he had served as a member of PBGC's Advisory Committee and as a PBGC Deputy Executive Director. Before joining PBGC he had been Vice President of General Investment Funds in Chevy Chase, Md.


Edwin M. Jones
May 10, 1982 - January 31, 1984

Edwin M. Jones photo

Under Edwin Jones, PBGC developed and implemented its first fully integrated agency-wide information system based on a mainframe computer system. He also restructured the agency along the lines of private insurance companies, creating separate departments and coordinating committees. He came to PBGC with a background in law, insurance, and investments.


Robert E. Nagle
September 4, 1979 - May 9, 1982

Robert E. Nagle photo

During Robert Nagle's tenure as Executive Director, the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 was enacted, completely restructuring PBGC's insurance program for multiemployer plans. He also fought to prevent the termination insurance program from being used to finance ongoing pension plans. As general counsel of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare during the years 1971 to 1974, he had been extensively involved in developing and drafting the original ERISA legislation. Before joining PBGC, he was a partner in the Washington law firm of Wald, Harkrader & Ross, specializing in pension issues and labor law.


Matthew M. Lind
December 2, 1977 - June 30, 1979

Mathew M. Lind photo

Matthew Lind was appointed December 2, 1976, as acting executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation before he officially became Executive Director in December 1977. He previously had been director of the PBGC Office of Program Development. As Executive Director, he helped develop legislation for the first increase in PBGC's annual single-employer premium rate, from $1.00 to $2.60 per participant. His efforts also resulted in legislation that rescinded the Contingent Employer Liability Insurance (CELI) provisions of ERISA, which were deemed unworkable.


Kenneth L. Houck
February 14, 1976 - November 30, 1976

Kenneth L. Houck photo

Under Kenneth Houck's leadership, PBGC established its initial trusteeship procedures, created a distinct benefit payment operation (later a full department), implemented basic operating policies for its benefit payments, and implemented its first asset management program. Before coming to PBGC, he had served as administrator, negotiator, and attorney for Bethlehem Steel Company's pension activities. Immediately prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he served as a founding member of PBGC's Advisory Committee.


Steven E. Schanes
August 4, 1975 - February 14, 1976

Steven E. Schanes photo

From 1974 to 1976 (initially in an acting capacity until his formal appointment in 1975), Steven Schanes served as the first Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, setting the basic direction for PBGC and establishing its initial structure along functional lines. From 1969 to 1971, as Assistant to the Secretary, he had represented the U.S. Department of Commerce in the development and enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Last updated April 27, 2017