Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer
Johara Farhadieh serves as the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI), where she has dedicated over 14 years of her career. She oversees over $28 billion in assets between the defined benefit and defined contribution plans on behalf of more than 168,000 beneficiaries. In her leadership position, Mrs. Farhadieh is responsible for overseeing all investment operations, managing and executing ISBI’s investment policies, and assisting the Trustees in the strategic direction of ISBI. In addition, Mrs. Farhadieh leads the continued effort of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within ISBI.
Under Mrs. Farhadieh’s leadership, ISBI has developed into one of the nation’s leading pension funds, with key accomplishments including the restructuring of the defined benefit fund and a full re‐enrollment of the defined contribution plan. Most recently, in its 2022 Public Pension Study, the American Investment Council ranked ISBI’s private equity portfolio performance first among public pension funds for the third year running.
Mrs. Farhadieh continues to be recognized as a thought leader on institutional investing as well as a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the financial industry. Most recently she was named the 2022 Distinguished Woman Investment Professional of the Year by Women Investment Professionals, and was named a 2022 Notable Executive of Color in Finance by Crain’s Chicago Business. In addition, she was recognized by Trusted Insight as a 2020 All-Star Chief Investment Officer and was named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 list for 2018.
Mrs. Farhadieh received her Master of Business Administration with honors from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from DePaul University College of Commerce.
Deputy Executive Director, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer
Dipesh Mehta serves as the Deputy Executive Director, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at the Illinois State Board of Investment. In this position, Mr. Mehta is responsible for overseeing ISBI’s legal matters, providing a wide range of legal advice/opinions to the ED/CIO regarding investment matters and compliance with federal and state laws, as well as serving as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of ISBI.
Prior to joining ISBI in 2018, Mr. Mehta advised a broad array of venture capital, private equity and start‐up firms with an acute focus on deal sourcing, legal structure, and valuations. Mr. Mehta also previously held positions at Sterling Partners, Chapman and Cutler LLP, and Aon Corporation.
Mr. Mehta received his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he served as the Executive Editor of the Consumer Law Review and was a Rose Marie Russo Scholarship recipient. Prior to law school and under a Damen Scholarship, he earned his B.B.A. in Finance and Economics from the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.
Senior Investment Officer – Private Markets
Scott Richards serves as the Senior Investment Officer at the Illinois State Board of Investment, where he has dedicated over 30 years of his career. In this role, Scott oversees and monitors all Private Market investment areas including but not limited to: Private Equity, Private Debt, Real Estate, and Infrastructure. In addition, during his tenure at ISBI, Scott has worked in numerous facets of ISBI’s investment and operations business units.
Scott obtained his BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his MBA from the University of Illinois-Springfield. In his free time, he enjoys swimming and competing in Master’s Meets throughout the United States.