Richard H. Koppes is the former Deputy Executive Officer and General Counsel of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest public pension fund in the United States with over $200 billion in assets. He is currently Of Counsel to the international law firm of Jones Day, is a corporate governance fellow at Stanford Law School, and does private consulting for corporations. As second in command at CalPERS, Mr. Koppes was responsible for all legal advice to the System (including its fiduciary obligations), direction of the fund’s corporate governance programs, and oversight of all internal auditing matters and public affairs activities. In that role, he became nationally recognized as a leading expert in corporate governance and shareholder rights issues facing most corporations and institutional investors today.
Mr. Koppes is a member of the Board of Directors of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (formerly ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), a NYSE-listed company, and a former member of the Board of Directors of Apria Healthcare Group Inc. (a former NYSE-listed company), both located in Orange County, California. He is the founder, past president and current administrative officer of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA) and serves on the Boards of the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) Institute and the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), both located in Washington, D.C. He is a former board member of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals.
Among his numerous activities, Mr. Koppes taught corporate governance as a Consulting Professor of Law at Stanford Law School for a number of years in the late 1990s, served as a member of the New York Stock Exchange Board of Governors’ Legal Advisory Committee from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the Blue Ribbon Commissions on Board Evaluations and Shareholder/Director Communications of the NACD. He is the past Vice Chairman of the Corporate Counsel Committee of the International Bar Association.
Mr. Koppes is a frequent speaker and panelist on issues relating to the role of pension fund investors in corporate governance and fiduciary duties. He is the author of numerous articles on corporate governance published in a variety of periodicals and law reviews. He has been awarded a Certificate of Director Education from NACD, and in October of 2007, was awarded the NACD’s Lifetime Achievement Award (its highest honor) for his contributions to corporate governance.
Mr. Koppes received his B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University in 1968 and his J.D. from U.C.L.A. School of Law in 1971.