Trustee Leadership Forum

The Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security (TLF) is an applied research collaboration with labor-affiliated trustees of public and Taft-Hartley pension funds, with implications for stakeholders across investment markets. The project draws on the experiences of these trustees to identify the core issues they face in developing strategies for long-term sustainable wealth creation – how they grapple with and react to the role that portfolio theory, fiduciary duty, agency issues among trustees, staff, consultants, legal advisors and fund managers, and challenges to the very idea of defined benefit pension plans.

The project, framed in the context of leadership and organizational studies, focuses on the role that pension fund trustees play in designing and overseeing the development of responsible investment strategies at the their funds.  We conduct participatory action research with a self-defined group of labor-affiliated pension fund trustees, and solicit input from a group of related stakeholders including academics, fund lawyers, investment consultants, fund managers, and others.

The goal of the TLF is to support systematic thinking about responsible investment by trustees, in the service of long-term pension fund sustainability. This project takes shape in the wake of the financial crisis, and the political and economic fallout the crisis engendered. Responsible investment is treated here as one piece of a larger effort to shore up retirement security through a variety of channels and initiatives.

Interested in participating?
Contact Erin Shackelford at or by phone at 617.495.3837 for more information on the different ways you can engage.


Below is an abbreviated list of resources, check back here regularly for new materials, event notices, and other resources on retirement security and responsible investment.


Meeting Summaries