Trump names 3 new members to Thrift Board

tech budget (Sergey Nivens/ 

President Donald Trump nominated three new candidates to replace Obama-era officials on the five-member Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board that manages the Thrift Savings Plan of federal employees and retirees.

Frank Dunleavy, counselor to the CEO of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, was nominated to replace current chairman Michael Kennedy. Christopher Bancroft Burnham, chairman and CEO of Cambridge Global Capital, is replacing Ronald David McCray, while John M. Barger, managing director of Norcross Partners, will take the slot currently occupied by David Jones.

Once the nominees are confirmed by the Senate, the president designates one to serve as chairman. Board members are appointed to four-year terms, and under statute can continue to serve until replaced.

The move gives the Trump administration a majority on the Thrift Board at a time when controversy is erupting over plans to invest federal retirement fund in Chinese companies. Last November, the board affirmed a long-standing plan to shift the International Funds to a global fund -- MSCI World ex USA Investable Market Index -- which includes shares in firms with ties to the Chinese government and military.

Lawmakers including Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) have objected to the move. Waltz introduced legislation in late April that would block TSP investments in companies and funds that don't meet certain conditions, and is designed to prevent TSP funds from going to Chinese companies.

"It is absolutely crazy for our military and federal employees to be indirectly contributing to China’s military operations," Waltz said in a statement announcing the bill. "And what's worse is that nearly all of these people are completely unaware of this situation."

Responding to the FRTIB nominations, Waltz tweeted, "I hope one of their first actions is reversing our federal retirement plans funding the #CCP and #China's military!"

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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