CREF Governors & Trustees

Because CREF is a SEC-registered investment company, CREF’s Boards of Governors and Trustees play a slightly different role than the TIAA Boards. But their responsibility remains the same – to make sure our organization is managed properly.

About governors

What is the CREF Board of Governors?

For TIAA's first twenty years, its corporate stock was owned by Carnegie Corporation of New York, which provided TIAA's $500,000 endowment grant. In 1938, Carnegie Corporation turned over ownership of TIAA to the new company, named Trustees of T.I.A.A. Stock. In 1989, Trustees of T.I.A.A. Stock was renamed TIAA Board of Overseers. In 2021, the Board voted to change its name to the TIAA Board of Governors.

The Governors are responsible for defining the mission of TIAA, overseeing TIAA’s business strategies and performance in consultation with the CEO and management, reviewing policy issues affecting TIAA, overseeing matters that could threaten the general reputation of TIAA, electing the members of the TIAA Board of Trustees, filling vacancies by appointment, and approving amendments to TIAA's charter and bylaws.

The TIAA Board of Governors normally consists of seven members — including the TIAA CEO and president — and each member serves a seven-year term. By charter, the seven members of the TIAA Board of Governors are the same seven members of the CREF Board of Governors.

Who are the Governors?

Participant since 1985
TIAA Governor since 2018

Participant since 1984
TIAA Governor since 2001

Participant since 2006
TIAA Governor since 2022

Participant since 2021
TIAA Governor since 2021

Participant since 1986
TIAA Governor since 2021

Participant since 1974
TIAA Governor since 2005

Participant since 1999
TIAA Governor since 2018

About trustees

What is the CREF Board of Trustees?

The CREF Board of Trustees consists of 10 people who oversee the management of CREF. Each individual is an independent trustee under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (for example, they cannot be a current or former employee of TIAA). By policy, the positions of Chairman of the CREF Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer of CREF are held by different individuals.

CREF Trustees are elected directly by CREF participants. Each participant has a number of votes equal to the dollar amount of his or her CREF accumulation (or the dollar amount of assets underlying that individual’s CREF’s annuity if he or she is receiving annuity income).

Participant since 1984
CREF Trustee since 2006

Participant since 2019
CREF Trustee since 2018

Participant since 2007
CREF Trustee since 2018

Participant since 2007
CREF Trustee since 2007

Participant since 2007
CREF Trustee since 2007

Participant since 1990
CREF Trustee since 2005

Participant since 2011
CREF Trustee since 2011

Participant since 1991
CREF Trustee since 2006

Participant since 2022
CREF Trustee since 2022

About committees

Committees of the TIAA-CREF Funds Complex

The Trustees of the CREF board work largely through committees, which meet frequently and shape policy for CREF, TIAA-CREF Funds, TIAA Separate Account VA-1 and the TIAA-CREF Life Funds. All TIAA-CREF Funds Committees consist of independent Trustees. Memberships listed below became effective October 1, 2022.

Act on behalf of the complex boards between meetings of the full board.
Current members:

Thomas J. Kenny

(Chair)

Nancy A. Eckl
Michael A. Forrester
Howell E. Jackson
James M. Poterba
  • Perform oversight functions for the Boards regarding the investment process and investment policies of the Funds, including environmental, social and governance ("ESG") criteria used to screen securities held by ESG-screened Funds
  • Review and set guidelines for the investment strategy of each Fund
  • Review the Funds’ investment performance, portfolio management dividend policy, cash flow and securities lending activities
  • Review the voting of proxy proposals related to securities held by the Funds and related matters.
Joseph A. Boateng

(Chair)

Forrest Berkley
Janice C. Eberly
Nancy A. Eckl
Michael A. Forrester
Howell E. Jackson
Thomas J. Kenny
James M. Poterba
Loren M. Starr
  • Assist the Boards in oversight for financial and operational reporting, internal control and compliance with laws, regulations and ethics policy
  • Approve and oversee independent auditors and evaluate their independence and effectiveness
  • Review financial reporting practices to assure the Funds are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations
James M. Poterba

(Chair)

Janice C. Eberly
Michael A. Forrester
Thomas J. Kenny
Loren M. Starr
  • Oversee operational matters of the Funds, including
  • Contracts with third-party service providers and investment advisors
  • Certain legal, compliance and finance matters
  • Marketing and distribution of the Funds
  • Responsible for reviewing portfolio transactions and trading, Funds' pricing, registration statements and disclosures, finance matters and inter-company arrangements
Nancy A. Eckl

(Chair)

Forrest Berkley
Joseph A. Boateng
Howell E. Jackson
  • Promote the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders by implementing sound governance policies and practices
  • Make recommendations concerning the nomination of Trustees, committee structure, composition and effectiveness
  • Conduct regular evaluations of board performance
  • Periodically review the Funds’ governance policies and practices to ensure that they are consistent with sound governance
Michael A. Forrester

(Chair)

Nancy A. Eckl
Thomas J. Kenny
James M. Poterba
  • Oversees cost allocations to CREF and other unique aspects of CREF
  • Oversees matters related to the modernization of CREF's structure, operations and marketing
  • Coordinates with the CREF Liaisons (members of management designated to advocate on behalf of CREF with the investment advisor).
Howell E. Jackson

(Chair)

Forrest Berkley
Janice C. Eberly
Nancy A. Eckl
James M. Poterba
Proxy information

Participants can vote for CREF Trustees

TIAA participants have a say when it comes to who sits on our trustee boards. CREF Trustees are elected every four years.

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