Politics & Government

Joe Dear, former Washington State Investment Board director, dead at 62

The chief investment officer of Calpers, the largest pension fund in the United States, has died after a battle with cancer, his office said on Wednesday. He was 62.

Joe Dear, diagnosed with prostate cancer last year, had been on leave from the California Public Employees' Retirement System since last month for treatment.

"It is with tremendous sadness that Calpers announces the passing of Joseph A. Dear, our Chief Investment Officer," his office said in a statement. Dear joined Calpers, California's $282 billion pension fund for public employees, as CIO in March 2009 after the value of its assets had dropped to about $165 billion.

He had previously served as executive director of the Washington State Investment Board. Dear had also been Gov. Gary Locke's chief of staff, the director of Labor & Industries for the state, and a Russell Co. lobbyist.

Calpers said in June that Dear had been diagnosed with cancer and had begun treatment. He returned to work full-time in December before going on leave in January to resume treatment.

Ted Eliopoulos, senior investment officer for real assets at Calpers, had served as acting CIO during Dear's absence.

News Tribune staff writer Peter Callaghan contributed to this report.