Sandy Matheson (2017)


Executive Director, Maine Employee Retirement System

Position: Executive Director, Maine Public Employees Retirement System

Best known for: Fixing things that are broken and calming down situations by bringing people together and solving problems.

Public service career: Matheson began her career in management services, armed with an MBA, a CPA, and an undergraduate degree in economics.  She moved into her first major CEO role managing a prime contract with the U.S. Department of Energy that provided occupational and environmental health services at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington. Matheson later was appointed by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire to head the state’s Department of Retirement Systems.  In 2009, Matheson moved across the country to become the executive director of MainePERS.

Biggest challenge: Cybersecurity and protecting member data has been and continues to be a daunting challenge.

Greatest reward: Maintaining confidence in the retirement system through open communications.  No matter what you have accomplished in the past, people new to the System as well as people you have worked with in the past need the time and information to gain or maintain their trust in the System and our management.

Why public service: People who choose public service careers inherently want to do the right thing. That starts with respecting the wide range of stakeholders who have an interest in what we do. It’s different in the private sector where the focus is more narrow and geared to what most affects their goods and services. I’ve had the freedom to work for the greater good in the public sector. Maine is a great state that welcomes straightforward solutions, which makes MainePERS an incredible place to work.”