Dallas L. Salisbury
President and chief executive, Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington
For 25 years, the Employee Benefit Research Institute has maintained a solid reputation as a non-partisan purveyor of data and statistics on pension, retirement and other employee benefit issues. Credit for this non-academic research institute's standing among lawmakers, employers, and employee organizations goes to Dallas Salisbury, hired at age 29 to head EBRI a month after it was founded in September 1978.
"He's a good listener. Most of the members of Congress respect him" for providing impartial information, said Harris Falwell, a former Illinois congressman who had jurisdiction over pension issues as the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee from 1995-1998.
Dan Sauvigne, who has known Mr. Salisbury for well over a decade, concurs. "Many people, many organizations, speak for their particular viewpoint, which is fine. What Dallas and EBRI do is, they stand in a non-biased, non-partisan way." Mr. Sauvigne, who retired as director of capital accumulation programs at IBM Corp. in 2002, worked with Mr. Salisbury as trustee of the research institute from 1996-2002.
"Dallas and EBRI are frequently trendsetters, or the futurists who are seeing beyond and recognizing issues of significance three to five years before the rest of the population," Mr. Sauvigne said.
Among Mr. Salisbury's achievements: the 1994 creation of the American Savings Education Council, which encourages Americans to save and educates them on how to do so; the longest-running study (since 1996) of defined contribution participant behavior; and a task force, established in 1996, to study ideas for reshaping the Social Security system.