Hon. Joshua Gotbaum

Josh Gotbaum, now a guest scholar affiliated with the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution, chairs Maryland’s Small Business Retirement Savings Board. He was elected by the other members of the Board.

Hon. Gotbaum is an advocate for reforming pension law/regulation and expanding retirement options. Josh came to Brookings after four years as Director (CEO) of PBGC. PBGC insures pension plans covering more than 40 million people & invests more than $85 billion. Josh focused PBGC on preserving pensions, not just waiting until they fail. One visible success was at American Airlines, where the pensions of 130,000 people were preserved. Another major effort was the bipartisan Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. Josh also worked to improve PBGC’s customer service: today PBGC’s customer satisfaction scores are the highest in the federal government – higher, in fact, than some of the best private sector companies.

Institutional Investor twice cited him as one of the 40 most influential players in the battle to decide the future of U.S. pensions. At Brookings, Gotbaum has also written about federal fiscal policy and infrastructure.

Gotbaum’s career has spanned work in business, government and non-profits. He was the CEO of The September 11th Fund, a $500+ million charity. Thereafter, he led the successful reorganization of Hawaiian Airlines. Prior to joining PBGC, he was a partner in Blue Wolf Capital, a private equity firm noted for its work in distress situations. Before that, he was a managing director of Lazard advising on finance, acquisitions, and restructuring. He has been a director of TD Bank, of Safety-Kleen Systems, and of PulteGroup, as well as consultant for major investment firms. During the 1990’s, Josh was confirmed on a bipartisan basis to senior presidential appointments in the Treasury, Office of Management & Budget, and Defense.

Josh has degrees from Stanford, Harvard Law School, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is married and the father of three. In his spare time, he sings.

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