2022 State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Program Network (SRSPN)
Annual Conference

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The Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) hosted its Annual State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Program Network (SRSPN) Conference as an invitation-only, in-person conference on March 15–16, 2022, after the conclusion of the National Association of State Treasurers’ (NAST) Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

Georgetown Conference Schedule

March 15, 2022
Evening Networking Reception (5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.)

March 16, 2022
Conference (8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.)

State executives, legislators, and other key stakeholders gathered to share the latest updates on program implementation and best practices and lessons learned, including marketing and outreach, employer and employee satisfaction and engagement, managing program costs and long-term financial feasibility, the opportunities for multi-state partnerships, and addressing financial wellness and the need for emergency savings and lifetime income.

This annual conference is exclusive to states, CRI supporters, and special invited guests.


Chatham House Rule applies:

To facilitate open discussion, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2022  

5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Opening Networking Reception 


7:30 a.m.–8:00 a.m.

Registration, Breakfast, and Networking

8:00 a.m.–8:10 a.m.

Opening and Welcome

8:10 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

Presentation of the 2022 Visionary Award & Keynote Address

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Secretarys Representative for Pensions and Retirement, U.S. Department of Labor

8:30 a.m.–9:20 a.m.

Making the Case for State Programs: The Treasurers’ Perspectives

9:20 a.m.–10:10 a.m.

Engaging Employers, Employees, and Key Stakeholders: What Do We Know About the Focus and Effectiveness of Communications, Outreach, and Marketing Strategies?

10:10 a.m.–10:20 a.m.


10:20 a.m.–11:10 a.m.

Motivating and/or Enforcing Employer Participation: What Have We Learned About How Implementation Timelines, Data, Financial Tools, and Compliance Requirements Shape Outcomes?

11:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Managing Investments, Costs, and Financial FeasibilityWhat Products and Fee Structures Can Support Retirement Savings Programs and Plans, and Their Participants, Most Effectively?

12:00 p.m.–12:50 p.m.

Lunch & Presentation of Awards

  • 2022 Distinguished State Leader Award
    Kevin Lembo, former Comptroller, State of Connecticut (virtual)
  • 2022 Best of the State Spotlight Award
    Katie Selenski, Executive Director, CalSavers Retirement Savings Board

12:50 p.m.–1:40 p.m.

Achieving Scale and Program Efficiency: What are the Key Considerations for Establishing a Successful Multi-State Partnership?

1:40 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Closing the Access Gap: How Have Public and Private Sector Providers Contributed to the UK’s Auto-Enrollment Program and What Are Lessons and Options for the U.S. Market?

2:30 p.m.–2:40 p.m.


2:40 p.m.–3:10 p.m.

Keynote: The Talk, Fight, Win Way to Change the World

  • William (“Bill”) Novelli, Distinguished Professor of the Practice and Founder, Business for Impact, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

3:10 p.m.–4:00 p.m.   

Defining Program Scope and Managing Risks: Can and Should State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Programs Address Financial Wellness, Short-Term Emergency Needs, and Lifetime Income and, if so, When and How?

4:00 p.m.

Program Concludes – Thank You!  See You Next Year!

2022 Visionary Award

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Secretary’s Representative for Pensions
U.S. Department of Labor

The Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) at the McCourt School of Public Policy is pleased to present the 2022 Visionary Award to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. We honor her for her excellence in public service and a vision for strengthening retirement security as reflected by the CRI.

Townsend has been appointed the Secretary’s Representative for Pensions and Retirement at the U.S. Department of Labor, where she will continue to advance retirement security for all.

Previously, Townsend was Director of Retirement Security at the Economic Policy Institute, and currently serves as a research professor at Georgetown University, where she founded the Center for Retirement Initiatives. She has also served as Chair of the Governor’s Retirement Security Task Force for the State of Maryland, and was Managing Director of Rock Creek, one of the largest women-owned asset management firms in the U.S. Rock Creek’s clients include state, corporate, and union pension funds.

As the State of Maryland’s first woman lieutenant governor, from 1995 to 2003, Townsend was in charge of a multimillion-dollar budget and had oversight of several major cabinet departments, including Economic Development, Transportation, State Police, Department of Corrections, and Juvenile Justice. Before being elected lieutenant governor, Townsend served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States. She has also been a Senior Advisor at the U.S. State Department.

Townsend is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has taught foreign policy at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland. She founded the Maryland Student Service Alliance, which made Maryland the first — and still only — state to require community service for high school graduation.

An honors graduate of Harvard University, Townsend received her law degree from the University of New Mexico, where she was a member of the law review. She has received 14 honorary degrees. Her book, Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Mixed God with Politics and Lost Their Way, was published by Warner Books in 2007.

2022 Distinguished State Leader Award

Kevin Lembo
Former Connecticut State Comptroller

The Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) at the McCourt School of Public Policy is pleased to present the 2022 Distinguished State Leader Award to Kevin Lembo. As Connecticut State Comptroller, Kevin co-chaired the original Connecticut Retirement Security Board with then-State Treasurer Denise Nappier. Established in June 2014 at the same time the Georgetown University CRI was established, the board was one of the early state study commissions.

The board’s work played a key role encouraging other states to examine the retirement security challenges faced by workers in their states.  It led to the enactment of legislation creating the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority in 2016 tasked with establishing a new auto-IRA retirement savings program that will serve up to 600,000 Connecticut workers in the private sector who had no workplace retirement savings option. He believes that such programs are imperative for both individual families and the entire state economy to ensure that all workers have the means to support their families throughout retirement, rather than be forced to rely on government services.

More recently, Kevin returned to chair the Authority’s board in 2020 and his strong leadership contributed to the program’s successful launch at the end of 2021. Kevin made the difficult decision to resign from office on Dec. 31, 2021, during his third term as Connecticut State Comptroller, for personal reasons. His leadership and commitment to public service and strengthening retirement security, for workers not only in Connecticut but around the country, will be missed.

Much more about Kevin’s outstanding professional story can be found here.

2022 Best of the State Spotlight Award

Katie Selenski
Executive Director
CalSavers Retirement Savings Board

The Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) at the McCourt School of Public Policy is pleased to present the 2022 Best of the States Spotlight Award to Katie Selenski for her commitment to public service and excellence in her stewardship of the implementation of the CalSavers Program.

Katie Selenski is the Executive Director of CalSavers, the State of California’s pioneering retirement savings program for people who lack access to a retirement plan at work.

Appointed by the State Treasurer in April 2017 shortly after legislative passage, Ms. Selenski took CalSavers through design, build, launch, and now enforcement. Ongoing marketing aims to engage an estimated pool of more than 250,000 employers and their millions of employees.

Prior to taking the helm at CalSavers, Ms. Selenski was the State Policy Director for pension policy at Pew in Washington, D.C., where she advised policymakers in a dozen states and cities.  Previously, she was a senior manager with the nonpartisan public sector consulting firm Harvey M. Rose Associates, based in San Francisco, advising California municipal leaders on a wide array of budget, management, and policy matters, including pensions. Earlier, she was a west coast municipal bond rating analyst at a leading rating agency, a legislative aide in the California Assembly, and the director of an historic statewide nonpartisan youth voter turnout initiative.

Ms. Selenski is a member of the advisory board of the Aspen Institute’s Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings. She is a frequent speaker on retirement savings and has been quoted by dozens of media organizations. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.