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Return to Evergreen - Evergreen's Turning 40
September 19, 2011 - June 15, 2012
The Evergreen State College

San Francisco Seminar

Retirement (In)Securities:
Risks and Rewards

A Traveling Seminar in San Francisco, California
Thursday, January 19, 6pm

A group discussion co-facilitated by Tom Womeldorff '81, Evergreen Faculty Member, and Joe Dear '76, Chief Investment Officer, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Sponsored by the Office of Alumni Programs and the Evergreen Alumni Association

Program Overview

Join us as we explore the changing economic landscape and what it might portend for the future of the American dream.

What does it say about American society that we see rising levels of inequality, economic insecurity and financial risk? As a culture, are we taking the right risks and do we understand who bears them? Is there a role for government in mitigating large losses? How do we determine the trade-offs between our roles as citizens of a collective and our freedom to take individual risks and reap the benefits? What are the long run consequences and benefits of a shift to individual risk taking vs. collectively mitigating risk through public entities such as social security and public pension funds?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

  • 6:00–6:45 pm Reception
  • 6:45–9:00 pm Seminar
  • California Appellate Project, 101 2nd Street, 6th Floor,
    San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Hosted by Scott Kauffman '80
  • Drinks and light refreshments will be served during the reception
  • Limit of 25 participants
  • $20 per person
Register now

Seminar Facilitators

Joseph A. Dear '76

Chief Investment Officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)

Joe DearJoe Dear oversees all of the investments of CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension fund, which manages the retirement benefits of more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees and their families. Before joining CalPERS in March 2009, Joe served for seven years as the executive director of the Washington State Investment Board, Washington’s public pension system. From 1997 to 2001, he worked as chief of staff for Washington Governor Gary Locke, and he served in the Clinton Administration as assistant secretary of labor at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Prior to his federal service, Joe was director of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, where he managed the state’s workers’ compensation insurance fund and served as an ex-officio member of the Washington State Investment Board. Earlier, he was research director for the Washington State Labor Council (AFL-CIO). Joe currently also serves as the chair of both the Council of Institutional Investors and the Pacific Pension Institute, and he is a board member of the College Success Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political economy from Evergreen.

Tom Womeldorff '81

Faculty Member

Tom WomeldorffTom Womeldorff graduated from Evergreen in 1981 with an emphasis in political economy. He earned his doctorate in political economy and public economics and returned to Evergreen in 1989 as a member of the faculty. His teaching has ranged from environmental economics to Caribbean studies. This year, he is focusing on intermediate economics and will be team teaching Marketing Authenticity: Craft, Commodity and Culture. Tom served as Evergreen’s academic dean of curriculum from 2002 to 2007, and is the proud parent of a 2008 Greener grad.

Seminar Host

Scott Kauffman ’80

Staff Attorney at the California Appellate Project

Scott moved to San Francisco in February 1980 with less than a year left to finish his degree at Evergreen. Scott finished his Evergreen experience by constructing an independent contract with Jeanne Hahn which involved working as a criminal investigator at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. From 1980 to 1984 Scott continued to work as a criminal investigator while attending law school at the New College of California. After passing the California State Bar in 1985, Scott became a solo practitioner concentrating on state court criminal appeals and trial work. He was appointed as co-counsel in his first California death penalty case in 1988. Between 1988 and 2000 Scott continued his mixed practice of trials and appeals with increasing emphasis on death penalty work. In 2000 Scott was hired as a Staff Attorney with the California Appellate Project, a non-profit law firm contracted with the California Supreme Court oversee in excess of 500 pending California Capital cases.

Your regular, yearly gifts to the Evergreen Annual Fund are vital to the continued support of students and faculty. Thank you.

The goal of the Traveling Seminar Series is to bring together members of the extended Evergreen community to rekindle the joy of intellectual exploration.