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CalPERS Veteran Technologist Named to Top Leadership Spot

Stephenson Loveson is the new chief information officer for the nation’s largest public pension fund. He began his career in state government as a software specialist and has worked his way up through the technology ranks and into executive leadership.

The sign at the entrance to the CalPERS building.
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Stephenson Loveson, a veteran technologist with deep roots in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), has been named chief information officer for the 2 million-member pension organization.

Stephenson LovesonThe Sacramento-area resident most recently served as chief technology officer for CalPERS, and since spring of 2022 he had also been serving as acting CIO. He succeeds former CalPERS CIO Christian Farland, who held that role for four years before taking a role as client executive with San Francisco-based HiPER Solutions in April 2022.

Loveson, who worked in the private sector before joining CalPERS as a systems software specialist in September 2010, has held a series of increasingly responsible roles in the nation’s largest public pension fund. He served as a software specialist supervisor, IT manager, data center chief and CTO before being appointed to his new role.

“I’m honored to officially be named the chief information officer of CalPERS,” Loveson told Industry Insider California via email Friday. “I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of this organization and look forward to delivering superior technology solutions to our team members, stakeholders, and members.”

Loveson has a specific message for the industry: “Vendors can expect for us to continue our mutually beneficial relationships. I look forward to working with everyone. My guiding star is producing value for our members.”

Industry Insider asked Loveson to list his top priority as he enters the CIO role.

“My top priority continues to be reducing costs and optimizing our technology stack,” he said, “particularly by retiring legacy systems to transition to a modern set of services and practices to support myCalPERS and other critical applications.”

He said CalPERS will begin recruiting for the CTO position in the coming weeks.

Loveson is a graduate of the California Department of Technology’s Information Technology Leadership Academy (ITLA), having been part of the ITLA 25 cohort in 2018. He will be among the speakers and panelists at the California Public Sector CIO Academy, which Government Technology* hosts in Sacramento on Feb. 15-16.

While he was the pension fund’s CTO, Loveson was featured in an Industry Insider “One-on-One” interview, in which he offered his views on some relevant topics:
  • On vendor relations: “Recently I got an email from a vendor that really stood out. The vendor had quite a bit of research about CalPERS. They looked at our CalPERS business plans and … strategic plan and objectives, and then tied them together to propose a solution that would solve some of my business problems. I liked the way they did their homework before approaching me and aligned it to the strategic plan. I really liked that approach and immediately took a call from them.”
  • On IT procurement: “The No. 1 thing I would change is the velocity of procurements. As much as our processes and procedures are keeping us safe, it sometimes does add bottlenecks to the procurement process. I think there is plenty of scope of improvement there. The speed with which we do business has changed, and IT procurements now need to accept the reality and get better at meeting the demands.”
  • On digital transformation: “Digital transformation is a continuous process. The moment you think that your transformation journey is over, you become obsolete. You continue to optimize and improve on what you have delivered. You can never have enough improvements.”

The trilingual CIO (English, Hindi and Tamil) is a graduate of the University of Madras with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering, and he received his Master of Business Administration with a specialization in IT management and finance from the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli, India. He has also served as president of the Asian Pacific State Employees Association.

*Government Technology and Industry Insider — California are part of e.Republic.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C.