Corporate governance & leadership

We’re on a mission to help our customers reach their financial goals and our clients reach their full potential. We’re accountable to the people we serve and we’re set up to protect their interests.

TIAA and CREF have different governance boards

We’ve changed from TIAA-CREF to TIAA.  Although we’re called TIAA now, CREF is still a big part of what we do.


TIAA was chartered in 1918 as a life insurance company serving not-for-profit employees.


TIAA establishes College Retirement Equities Fund to provide more investment options to our participants.


We’ve changed from TIAA-CREF to TIAA. As a single brand we offer more to our customers and clients.
How we're structured

Our governing boards work to protect you

The TIAA and CREF Boards of Overseers are comprised of the same seven individuals by charter. Trustees on the TIAA and CREF boards work largely through committees and shape TIAA and CREF policies. TIAA and CREF boards help keep us accountable. TIAA Board of Trustees helps assure the proper management of our organization, while the CREF Board of Trustees oversees our SEC-registered investment company.


TIAA Board of Overseers
TIAA Board of Trustees
Committee of the TIAA Board


CREF Board of Overseers
CREF Board of Trustees
Committees of the CREF Board of Trustees

Learn about our board election processes

  • The TIAA Board of Overseers elects its own successors. It normally consists of seven members, including the TIAA president and CEO, with each member serving a seven-year term.  As required by its governing documents, the same seven members of the TIAA Board of Overseers are the same seven members of the CREF Board of Overseers.
  • The TIAA Board of Overseers elects the TIAA trustees annually. Traditionally, TIAA participants — such as holders of TIAA individual life insurance policies and those with accumulations in the TIAA Real Estate Account — have been asked to express their preferences through an advisory vote. The TIAA Board of Overseers then considers the vote and but is ultimately responsible for formally electing the Board of Trustees.

    The CREF Board of Trustees is elected directly by CREF participants. Each participant has a number of votes equal to the dollar amount of his or her CREF accumulation and/or the calculated number of dollars supporting CREF’s annuity obligations to that individual if he or she is receiving annuity income. Participants vote at CREF’s meeting of participants in person or — more typically — by proxy (ballots mailed, phoned in, or cast online). Ballots and proxy statements are made available to participants shortly after they become eligible to vote.
  • The TIAA trustees are elected annually and the CREF Trustees are elected every four years, from a diverse pool of candidates.
  • The TIAA Board of Trustees is made up of 14 individuals, including TIAA’s president and CEO, who oversee the management of TIAA. The TIAA Trustees are independent except for TIAA's president and CEO.
    The CREF Board of Trustees consists of 10 individuals who oversee the management of CREF. By policy, the positions of Chairman of the CREF Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer of CREF are held by different individuals.
  • Questions and inquiries regarding corporate governance should be sent to:
    TIAA Board of Trustees
    CREF Board of Trustees
    c/o Office of the Corporate Secretary
    730 Third Avenue
    New York, NY 10017-3206
photo candid Ferguson teaching moment

Our leadership team

A unique team of professionals with diverse backgrounds share a passion to lead TIAA. Our leaders guide us in fulfilling our commitments to our own people and to those we serve.

We're an open book

We’re committed to earning and maintaining your trust. Transparency is key and our annual reports, company financials, code of ethics and even our CEO’s contract are easily accessible and available for download.1

 Governance documents, company financials, annual reports, code of ethics, compensation policies, CEO’s Contracts
TIAA’S Family of Companies

TIAA is a group of companies working for you

TIAA was founded in 1918 to help improve quality of life for teachers. We’ve grown into a Fortune 100 financial services organization with a diverse group of companies. That helps us serve customers and clients more effectively.
1 TIAA-CREF is not currently a not-for-profit and must pay taxes.