COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) today announced that the Board of Trustees has chosen Karen Carraher, OPERS' director of finance, as executive director. Carraher had served as interim executive director since Feb. 28. Her appointment is effective immediately.
"I'm pleased to announce that Karen Carraher has been chosen executive director," said Ken Thomas, chairman of the OPERS Board of Trustees. "Karen offers tremendous experience and a deep knowledge of the pension industry. She, along with our leadership team at OPERS, provides us great confidence in maintaining our forward momentum both organizationally and with all the initiatives facing us.
"I know Ms. Carraher will provide the necessary leadership to move the organization forward and will be a strong advocate for the plan design changes pending before the legislature," Thomas added.
Carraher joined OPERS in December 2002. She had served as the director of business services for the Ohio Education Association and was controller for both Mount Carmel Health and Riverside Methodist Hospitals. Carraher began her career as an audit manager with the accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Carraher earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from The Ohio State University and her Masters degree in business administration from Capital University. She is a certified public accountant. OPERS plays a critical role in supporting Ohio, infusing billions of dollars into the state's economy. Last year, OPERS paid more than $5 billion in pension benefits and health-care coverage to more than 179,500 OPERS retirees and their beneficiaries. Nearly 90 percent of OPERS retirees live in Ohio, spending the vast majority of that money on goods and services in the state. With assets of $75.7 billion as of Dec. 31, 2010, OPERS is the largest public pension fund in Ohio and the 12th largest public pension fund in the United States. OPERS, which recognized its 75th year in 2010, provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for public employees throughout the state and serves more than 974,000 members.
Julie Graham-Price, MBA, APR
Manager – Communications