Champaign, IL – Gov. Pritzker has appointed John Atkinson of Burr Ridge to serve as chairperson of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) Board of Trustees.

On Aug. 2, the governor announced Atkinson will serve as the chairperson of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and, per state statute, will also serve as the chairperson for SURS.

Atkinson is currently the managing director for Willis Towers Watson in Chicago. Prior to that he was managing partner of Thilman Filippini LLC, one of the nation’s top 100 privately held risk management brokers. In 2006, he led the integration and merger of that firm into Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co. (HRH) and subsequently into Willis Towers Watson in 2008.

Atkinson serves as a director of the Kennedy Forum Illinois, Cradles to Crayons and World Business Chicago. He is a director emeritus of One Million Degrees and on the Board of Advisors of Catholic Charities and the Council of Regents of Loyola University. He received his B.S. in political science from Benedictine University after studying political science and government at the College of DuPage.

Atkinson’s term will expire in January 2025. His appointment must be confirmed by the Illinois Senate.

Other members of the SURS Board of Trustees include Aaron Ammons, Richard Figueroa, Jamie-Clare Flaherty, J. Fred Giertz, John Lyons, Steven Rock, Collin Van Meter and Antonio Vasquez. There is currently one vacant elected annuitant seat and one vacant appointed seat on the SURS board.