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The 2014 Pension 40: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Chief Executive
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
PNR

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, 63, says she was drawn into the pension debate after hearing American Federation of Teachers’ president Randi Weingarten (No. 3) say in a speech three years ago that 50 percent of Americans lack retirement plans at their jobs. “That was shocking to me,” says Maryland’s former lieutenant governor and Robert Kennedy’s eldest child, now a managing director at Washington-based investment and advisory firm Rock Creek Group. “I thought something should be done.” Earlier this year she joined a bipartisan group — including former Republican Party chief Kenneth Mehlman (No. 38) (now at KKR & Co.), former Clinton administration deputy assistant secretary of State David Marchick (now at Carlyle Group), the Service Employees International Union and the AFT — to form the Center for Retirement Initiatives at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy; Townsend, who has a JD from the University of New Mexico Law School, is CEO. The center’s mission: to provide research to help states with pension legislation. The center urges states to pool risk, apply professional management and combine the best elements of defined benefit and 401(k) plans. The first paper, dealing with the application of ERISA on state retirement efforts, was presented at the National Association of State Treasurers conference in December. In May, Townsend was named chair of a Maryland task force on retirement security. Now she can offer her own scary pension statistic: “Forty-three percent of Americans have less than $25,000 in their retirement plans.” Lots of work ahead.

The 2014 Pension 40
Click name to view profile.
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Bruce Rauner
Illinois
John and
Laura Arnold

Laura and John
Arnold Foundation
Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers
Rahm Emanuel
Chicago
David Boies
Boies, Schiller & Flexner
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10
Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans
Damon Silvers
AFL-CIO
Laurence Fink
BlackRock
Chris Christie
New Jersey
Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
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15
Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees’ Retirement System
John Kline
Minnesota
J. Mark Iwry
U.S. Treasury Department
Gina Raimondo
Rhode Island
Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Labor Department
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Orrin Hatch
Utah
Abigail Johnson
Fidelity Investments
Ted Wheeler
Oregon
Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
James Hoffa
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
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Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
Alejandro
García Padilla

Puerto Rico
Christopher Klein
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Caifornia
Steven Rhodes
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Kevin de León
California
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David Draine
Pew Charitable Trusts
Jordan Marks
National Public Pension Coalition
Sam Liccardo
California
Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Karen Ferguson and Karen Friedman
Pension Rights Center
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Timothy Blake
Moody’s Investors Service
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
Daniel Loeb
Third Point
Judy Mares
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Labor Department
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Andrew Biggs
American Enterprise Institute
Andy Stern
Columbia University
Kenneth Mehlman
KKR & Co.
Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
A. Melissa Moye
U.S. Treasury Department


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