WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The executive board of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems has elected Kathy Harrell, a member of the Cincinnati Police Department since 1987, as its president.
Harrell becomes the first woman president of NCPERS in the organization’s 80-year history. She began a one-year term on June 1 and is eligible for reelection up to three times.
“Kathy Harrell has made a career of breaking barriers, having previously spent 10 years as the first woman to head the Fraternal Order of Police in Cincinnati,” said Hank Kim, executive director and counsel of NCPERS. “She is a proven leader who brings an impressive breadth and depth of experience to her new role.”
Harrell, who began her law enforcement career as a cop on the beat and went on to serve as an undercover drug and major crime investigator, said she was honored to step into the position vacated by Daniel Fortuna, chair of the Firemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago. Fortuna has concluded four one-year terms as president, the maximum length of service permitted. He continues in a leadership role as NCPERS immediate past president.
“Dan Fortuna has been an articulate and vigorous advocate for public pensions, and we salute him for leading us energetically during four turbulent years,” Harrell said. “I will value his insights and advice as I take up the reins to promote and defend defined-benefit pensions.”
Harrell was elected to the NCPERS executive board in 2007, and has chaired the bylaws, policy, and resolution committee. She has also served on the advisors, credentials, executive, and insurance committees.
In addition to her service with NCPERS, Harrell has been active in her local, state, and national police organizations. Currently, she serves as National Fraternal Order of Police pension chairman. She led her local union, the FOP Queen City Lodge No. 69, from 2005 to 2015. From 2006 to 2011, she was a trustee of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, which provides retirement, disability, and survivor and healthcare benefits to 50,000 beneficiaries and manages $14 billion in assets.
The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) is the largest trade association for public sector pension funds, representing more than 500 funds throughout the United States and Canada. It is a unique non-profit network of public trustees, administrators, public officials and investment professionals who collectively manage more than $4 trillion in pension assets. Founded in 1941, NCPERS is the principal trade association working to promote and protect pensions by focusing on advocacy, research and education including online learning for the benefit of public sector pension stakeholders.