Staff

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Genette Bacon-Cordova

Portfolio Officer for Financial Reporting and Accounting
Genette Bacon-Cordova serves as the Portfolio Officer for Financial Reporting and Accounting. Genette works closely with the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer to perform and manage the operations-related accounting requirements of ISBI, including maintaining the general ledger system, reviewing accounts payable, preparing the quarterly budget, processing payroll, and other accounting functions.

 

Genette obtained her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Outside of work, Genette enjoys watching movies, listening to music, attending concerts, and walking along Chicago’s lakefront.

Mary Cahill

Director of Business Operations and Legislative Affairs
Mary Cahill serves as the Director of Business Operations and Legislative Affairs at ISBI. In her role, Mary works as a liaison between ISBI and the Illinois General Assembly and monitors pieces of legislation that may impact ISBI’s operations. Additionally, Mary oversees business operations in support of the legal, investment, and operations teams at ISBI.

 

Mary previously served as ISBI’s Business Operations and Government Affairs Analyst, and before joining ISBI worked as a legislative staffer for the Illinois House of Representatives. She is also a former Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) participant. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Boston College in 2017. She spends as much of her time as she can at Wrigley Field and exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Michelle Choi

Assistant Investment Officer
Michelle Choi serves as Assistant Investment Officer at ISBI. In this role, Michelle provides investment and operational support to the ED/CIO and broader ISBI Staff, including reporting and manager due diligence. Michelle is a generalist on the investment team and provides support across all asset classes. Michelle graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Outside of the office, she enjoys hiking, photography, and cooking for her friends and family.

Jennifer Koelle

Senior Investment Officer – Public Markets
Jennifer Koelle serves as Senior Investment Officer – Public Markets at the Illinois State Board of Investment. In her role, Jennifer provides oversight for ISBI’s public market investments, helps to monitor and assess risk for ISBI’s investment program, and assists in developing and implementing ISBI’s overall investment policy. Additionally, Jennifer helps provide centralized oversight of the State’s Deferred Compensation Plan.

 

Prior to joining ISBI in 2020, Jennifer spent 15 years at Mercer in the Manager Research Group as a senior asset class specialist where she helped coordinate research of global and emerging markets equity strategies, undertook direct investment manager coverage, and was a voting member of the US equity ratings review committee. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with Minors in Mathematics and International Relations, from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Level II candidate in the CFA program.

Kawing Lee

Portfolio Operations Lead

Kawing Lee serves as the Portfolio Operations Lead at ISBI. In her role. Kawing works closely with the COO/CFO and Investment Officers to oversee ISBI’s portfolio capital movements and operations. Her main responsibilities include fulfilling the capital calls notices, completing quarterly roll forwards, and managing investment management fees.

 

Kawing obtained her Bachelor of Science in Operations Management and Information Systems from Northern Illinois University. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and working out.

Samantha McHugh

Associate General Counsel and Investment Compliance Officer
Sam McHugh serves as the Associate General Counsel and Investment Compliance Officer at ISBI. In her role, Sam supports the General Counsel and advises ISBI Staff and Trustees on a wide variety of legal matters, as well as overseeing ISBI’s compliance efforts.

 

Sam previously worked in commercial litigation at a Chicago law firm. During law school, she participated in internships at FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission in their respective enforcement departments. Sam earned her J.D. cum laude from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Boston University in 2015. In her free time, Sam enjoys hiking, watching movies, and cooking.

Dipesh Mehta

Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer

Dipesh Mehta serves as the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI). He oversees over $30 billion in assets between the defined benefit and defined contribution plans on behalf of more than 175,000 beneficiaries. In his leadership position, Mr. Mehta is responsible for overseeing all investment operations, managing and executing ISBI’s investment policies, and assisting the Trustees in the strategic direction of ISBI. Mr. Mehta previously served as ISBI’s Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel.

 

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 minored in Economics at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.

Scott Richards

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.

David Schneider

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

David Schneider serves as ISBI’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. In his executive role, David oversees ISBI’s in-house business operations, pension asset portfolio custody operations, back office finance and accounting processes, and related internal and external reporting efforts.

 

Prior to joining ISBI, David’s career centered on accounting and financial reporting, primarily in financial services, including a long tenure with The Federal Reserve.

 

David obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in Accountancy and Information Systems from Southern Illinois University, and he holds an active CPA license. Outside of work, David enjoys physical fitness and yoga, and exploring Chicago with his greyhound.

DANIEL SEKERA

Investment Officer II
Daniel Sekera serves as Investment Officer II at the Illinois State Board of Investment. As a generalist on the investment team, Daniel’s responsibilities include providing oversight for ISBI’s investments across all asset classes, reviewing and implementing ISBI’s investment policy, and overseeing the State’s Deferred Compensation Plan.

 

Prior to joining ISBI, Daniel worked as an investment consultant in Chicago, most recently with Mercer. During his consulting career, he partnered with the investment committees of corporate and public retirement programs, not-for-profit endowments & foundations, and family offices. Daniel holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

Outside of work, Daniel enjoys live music, water skiing in the summer, and spending time with family and friends.

Polly Smith

Private Secretary
Polly Smith serves as the Private Secretary, working closely with the Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer (ED/CIO). In this role, Polly ensures a smooth operation at ISBI. Polly assists with schedules, monitors phone call notifications and ISBI emails, oversees the distribution of supplies and packages to office personnel, and enjoys meeting and greeting visitors to the ISBI office.

Atul Talwar

Chief Information Officer
Atul Talwar is the Chief Information Officer at ISBI. Atul’s primary function is to oversee ISBI’s evolving technology needs ranging from security and infrastructure implementation to website development and troubleshooting. Atul also serves as ISBI’s primary IT liaison with third parties including the State’s Department of Innovation and Technology and external vendors. In his spare time Atul enjoys traveling, hiking, good food, and flying airplanes.

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Renee Westfield

Portfolio Officer for Business Operations and Accounting
Renee Westfield serves as ISBI’s Portfolio Officer for Business Operations and Accounting. She works closely with the COO / CFO to oversee ISBI’s portfolio capital movements and operations. Her responsibilities include obtaining capital call requests and capital distribution notices from managers, processing requests through the custodian record keeping system, and generating ISBI’s monthly portfolio income snapshot. In addition, Renee handles business operations management such as overseeing office supply and equipment purchasing along with other operational tasks. She also performs all of ISBI’s accounts payable and vendor management processes within the guidelines established by the Comptroller’s Office. Renee obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Chapman University. Her hobbies are hiking, reading, physical fitness, and travelling.