August 14, 2012
External Affairs Branch
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
CalPERS Names David Cowling Chief of Center for Innovation
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced today the appointment of David Cowling, Ph.D. as the pension fund’s chief of its Center for Innovation (CFI). The CFI is responsible for providing thought leadership in the retirement and health fields for CalPERS and serving as an innovation incubator. The CFI will test new concepts for providing health and retirement benefits to CalPERS members and employers.
Cowling will establish and direct the policies that will lead the CFI in designing, implementing and evaluating health and retirement pilot projects to improve service delivery to members and employers and sustain the affordability of their benefits.
“The CFI will be an incubator for developing and testing new concepts that will transform health and retirement offerings for our members, and David is the perfect choice for leading such a creative group,” said Ann Boynton, CalPERS Deputy Executive Officer for Benefit Programs Policy and Planning. “He was chosen for his extensive project management experience and his excellence in leading research teams on projects that benefit the public.”
Cowling reports directly to Boynton. He began his new job last month and replaces CFI Interim Chief Trina Gonzalez, who left to pursue her Master’s degree at Princeton.
“I’m excited about working with the CFI team and taking on the challenges that come with creating and implementing new ways to improve benefit services to public employees,” said Cowling.
Cowling brings 15 years of research and project management experience to CalPERS. He came to the pension fund from the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Tobacco Control Program, where he was Chief of the Evaluation and Knowledge Management Section. At CDPH, he led research for the longest-running tobacco control program in the U.S. and oversaw studies on the impact of tobacco control intervention programs in decreasing smoking and tobacco use.
Cowling holds a Ph.D. in epidemiology and a Master’s degree in statistics from the University of California, Davis. He graduated with a degree in Mathematics from California State University, Bakersfield.
CalPERS, with assets of $238 billion, is the largest public pension fund in the U.S. It administers retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million California State, local government, and public school employees, retirees, and their families on behalf of more than 3,000 public employers, and health benefits for more than 1.3 million enrollees. The average CalPERS pension benefit is $2,332 per month. The average benefit for those who retired in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, is $3,065 per month. For more information on CalPERS, please visit www.calpers.ca.gov.