Harry Conaway will become the second CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, effective Jan. 1, an EBRI news release announced.
Mr. Conaway has served on EBRI’s board of trustees for more than a decade as well as on the executive committee, and he has worked on employee benefit, health and retirement issues at Mercer, where he is currently a senior partner and head of Mercer’s Washington Resource Group, since 1989.
“With its unparalleled reputation, databases and talented research team, EBRI has the capacity to shatter myths and preconceptions. As the new CEO, I’m proud that I will have the opportunity to listen to and work with EBRI’s members and partners in the benefits community and to lead the nation’s premier employee benefits research organization,” Mr. Conaway said in the news release.
“With Mercer, Conaway has built and managed a large, highly regarded, and financially successful human resources and employee benefits legislative and regulatory interpretation, research and communications group and will hit the ground running,” said Pamela French, chairwoman of EBRI’s board of trustees, in the release.
“I would say this is an inspired choice, and congratulations are due both to Harry on affiliating with an outstanding organization and EBRI for acquiring Harry’s unique talents,” said James Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, in a telephone interview.
“He has over 30 years’ experience in the employee benefits arena both in government service and the private sector. He’s one of the most substantively knowledgeable people about employee benefits but also has tremendous strategic insight about employer-sponsored benefit plans,” Mr. Klein said.
Dallas Salisbury, the organization’s first and only president and CEO since its founding in 1978, announced in January he will step down from those roles. He will become president emeritus and resident fellow on Jan. 1.
“Because Dallas left such an indelible mark on the benefits system, it requires someone of Harry’s stature and capability to take EBRI to the next level and to address the challenges of the system for the future,” Mr. Klein said.
Mercer spokesman Bruce Lee said Mr. Conaway will be departing his current role on Sept. 30. Judy Bausermann, U.S. health and benefits leader of Mercer’s Washington Resource Group, will serve as interim leader of the group upon Mr. Conaway’s departure until a permanent replacement is named. Mr. Lee added there is no specific timeline to find a replacement.