The State Universities Retirement System of Illinois is searching for its first Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) to help shape and foster the system’s internal diversity and inclusion strategy, as well as strengthen investment manager and contractor programs.

“SURS has a long-standing commitment to diversity both within our workforce and our emerging manager investment programs, said Executive Director Martin Noven. “The addition of a Chief Diversity Officer will advance our efforts to create awareness and belonging amongst staff, develop important relationships with key leaders, communities and organizations, and build upon our existing money manager diversity program.”

Under the direction of SURS Executive Director, the CDO will:

  • Create a diversity subcontracting policy to ensure the engagement of minority-owned money managers as well as other contractors by SURS.
  • Support the organization through the development, implementation and coordination of efforts to foster an inclusive environment.
  • Help develop and support a strategy that will lead to a comprehensive and actionable system-wide diversity strategy that builds upon the organization’s ability to attract, respect, support and celebrate diversity in all forms.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A keen understanding of the investment industry and experience in procurement. Candidates with a background in industrial-organizational psychology are also welcome.
  • A track record of success coordinating and/or leading a broad range of diversity initiatives to include contracting and subcontracting with historically underrepresented groups; recruitment of diverse financial service providers; developing training and performance measurement systems; strategic thought leadership; and an understanding of how to engage and build productive relationships.

“We are interested in hiring a CDO who will work well with our staff long-term, who understands and has a genuine passion for fostering diversity, equity, respect and inclusion,” said Noven. “We understand we have to put in the time to build an ongoing system-wide program that inspires transformation and real behavior change. We’re willing to make that commitment, and we’re looking for the right person to work with us.”

SURS is one of five state-funded retirement systems that provide retirement, survivor, death and disability benefits on behalf of more than 230,000 members from 61 employers in Illinois, including state universities, community colleges and state agencies. SURS administers benefits and oversees a large investment program with assets of approximately $20.7 billion. 

The system’s headquarters is in the culturally diverse and academically rich community of Champaign, Illinois, located just blocks from the bustling University of Illinois campus. This role will carry geographic flexibility and telework systems are in place during the COVID-19 emergency.

SURS is working with Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. in the CDO search. For more information or to apply for this position go to our Careers page.