US - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has appointed Anne Stausboll as the pension fund's new chief executive officer (CEO).

Stausboll, who has been acting as the interim chief investment officer for CalPERS since April, and will be the first female CEO to head the $182bn (€125bn) pension fund since it was started 77 years ago, when she assumes her position on 12 January 2009.

Stausboll, 52, will replace Ken Marzion, who has been Interim CEO since the retirement of Fred Buenrostro in June 2008, and will be responsible for overseeing all of the system's operations, including its $332m budget, 2,300 employees and investment, health and retirement benefits administration.

Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board of Administration, said: "Anne is a stellar public servant and natural leader for our fund. Her leadership and government policy experience in all facets of her career will serve our members, employers, and staff very well."

Stausboll was selected from a pool of candidates in a recruitment process organised by the Cooperative Personnel Services based in Sacramento, California.

CalPERS is still looking for a new CIO to take over once Stausboll assumes her new role.

Stausboll rejoined CalPERS four years ago as chief investment operating officer and helped implement strategies for the pension fund's real estate, alternative investment and public market portfolios, before she was appointed interim CIO in April 2008 following the departure of Russell Read, former CIO.

In the past she oversaw the search process for external managers, advisers and pension consultants, coordinated internal investment policy and represented CalPERS on investment-related legislation at state and federal level.

Between 1994 and 1999, Stausboll served in the pension fund's legal office, before leaving in 1999 to become general counsel for California State Treasurer Phil Angelides.

CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the United States, with a total of $182bn of assets, and provides retirement benefits for over 1.6m state and local employees and their families.