NYSIF Executive Staff

Executive Director & CEO Gaurav Vasisht

Vasisht

Gaurav Vasisht is Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NYSIF, a non-profit competitive enterprise that is the largest workers' compensation insurer in New York State and among the 10 largest nationwide. In this role, Gaurav is responsible for NYSIF's overall strategic direction and operation, including oversight of its approximately 2,000-employee workforce.

Gaurav came to NYSIF after more than six years at the Volcker Alliance, a non-partisan think tank established by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker. Gaurav directed the Alliance's financial regulation program, advising Chairman Volcker and other board members on financial system stability and regulatory matters and promoting the organization's policy priorities before the federal government. Gaurav also served as Chairman Volcker's liaison to the Systemic Risk Council, a private-sector body of experts committed to addressing structural issues relating to global systemic risk.

Before joining the Alliance, Gaurav spent a decade in New York State government. Most recently, he served as Executive Deputy Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, heading the agency's Banking Division. He previously served as Senior Deputy Superintendent of Insurance, First Assistant Counsel and Assistant Counsel to three New York Governors, and as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the New York State Attorney General.

Gaurav is co-author of "What Makes a Regulator Excellent?" in Achieving Regulatory Excellence, edited by the University of Pennsylvania Law School and published by the Brookings Institution Press. A graduate of New York University and St. John's University School of Law, Gaurav has testified before Congress on financial stability matters, presented before the G20's Financial Stability Board on the effectiveness of Too-Big-To-Fail reforms, and worked on pioneering initiatives covered in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.

Gaurav has been a Non-Resident Fellow at the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke Law School, is a contributor to Penn Law's Regulatory Review, and frequently publishes and speaks on issues of relevance to the financial services industry.

Joseph Mullen, Deputy Executive Director: Joe joined NYSIF in 1997 as a senior budget analyst and has gone on to serve in many roles, including Deputy Executive Director for Policyholder Services Business Operations, Director of Financial Administration and Director of Administration. As Director of PHS, Joe is responsible for overseeing NYSIF’s statewide underwriting, premium audit and risk control operations along with statewide PHS business office operations. Since his appointment to this position in 2018, Joe has guided several critical initiatives, including a streamlined online quote and application process, an underwriting reorganization to better meet the needs of our customers, and significant updates to our premium audit process. Joe holds an MBA from the College of St. Rose and a BS in Business Economics & Accounting from SUNY Oneonta.

Peter Cusick, Director of Claims Business Operations: Peter was appointed Director of Claims in January 2022. Peter joined NYSIF in 2008, during which time he has served in many roles including Acting General Attorney, Assistant Secretary to the Board of Commissioners and Assistant Counsel. Most recently, Peter has been overseeing the Division of Confidential Investigations, serving as Acting Director since May 2020. He has led many NYSIF initiatives, including NYSIF’s opioid reduction program, medical provider fraud initiatives, the centralization of NYSIF's financial recovery efforts, and agency-wide compliance projects. Prior to joining NYSIF, Peter spent 15 years in private practice as a litigation attorney, representing insurers and corporations in commercial, construction, employment and complex litigation. Peter is a graduate of St. John’s School of Law and holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

John DeFazio, Director of Policyholder Services Business Operations: With more than 40 years at NYSIF, John has been serving in this role since 2019, overseeing underwriting, audit and risk control functions for the agency. John started at NYSIF in 1980, working as Premium Auditor 1, 2 and 3, before being asked to create and manage the Group 90 Metro Office in 1999. In 2013, he was appointed as the Director of Premium Audit, where he led the division in a complete revamp of the audit scheduling system. John holds a bachelor of business administration (BBA) in accountancy from Baruch College.

James Fiedler, Acting General Attorney: With more than 40 years of NYS service, Jim is the agency's Managing Attorney and currently serves as the Acting General Attorney. Jim has served as the head of the Litigation, Third Party and Premium Collection Divisions in the Legal Department. He has also served as NYSIF’s Records Access Officer and FOIL Officer. Jim is a contributing author to “Workers’ Compensation Law Handbook” and a frequent lecturer for the New York Bar Association. A graduate of the St. John’s School of Law, Jim serves on the Board of Directors of the Defense Association of New York and the New York Claim Association.

Greg Francis, Chief Investment Officer: Gregory Francis joined NYSIF as Chief Investment Officer in June 2015. As CIO, Gregory oversees an investment portfolio of over $21 billion in assets, an experienced team of investment professionals, and investments for both the Workers' Compensation Fund and Disability Benefits Fund. Under Gregory’s leadership, NYSIF has modernized the investment program and associated governance. He has spearheaded the development and execution of a multi-asset class program consisting of internally and externally managed assets. The program is focused on maximizing long-term investment performance within a risk-oriented framework. Prior to joining NYSIF, Gregory spent more than 20 years as an investment professional in both the private and public sector. His early roles consisted of institutional portfolio management, capital markets research for Wall Street firms, and risk and portfolio optimization for banks and insurance companies. Previously, Greg served in senior investment positions at GE Capital, New York Life Insurance Company, and Santa Clara County. Greg began his career at the investment banks of Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette and Bankers Trust Securities. Gregory holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from Columbia University School of Engineering. He is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science.

William Gratrix, Chief Financial Officer: Bill has responsibility for the Accounting and Financial Reporting, Actuarial, Treasury, and Financial Planning and Analysis functions at NYSIF. After more than a decade as a Senior Manager in international public accounting firms, Bill made meaningful strategic and leadership contributions to major financial services companies in the property/casualty, life insurance, mortgage finance, banking and investment management industries. Bill holds an MBA in Accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a BA in Speech Communications from the State University of New York. He has held the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designations in New York and Maryland.

Charlotte Griffin, Chief Information Officer: Charlotte has been with NYSIF Information Technology Services since 1998. Most recently, she led the team responsible for the modernization and consolidation of our claims systems into Claims Center, which has been extremely well-received by staff. She also managed our Kubra electronic payments project, providing our customers the ability to sign up for autopay and electronic payments. She also managed teams working on electronic billing, prescription benefit management, direct deposit for claimants and providers, and the addition of PFL to NYSIF’s DB claims and PHS systems. Charlotte has also been instrumental in leading our IT team to implement the many operational changes required by COVID 19, including providing staff with the assistance and resources needed to continue working effectively on behalf of our customers and claimants during the pandemic.

Melissa Jensen, Director, Executive Project Management Office (EPMO): Melissa joined NYSIF in 2015 after 10 years at the Department of Insurance, where she served as a project manager overseeing the merger of the Banking and Insurance Departments into the newly-created Department of Financial Services. At NYSIF, Melissa helped to establish the new Executive Project Management Office, where she has facilitated many strategic planning projects, defined and implemented numerous policies, and effectively implemented the NYS Lean initiative agency wide. Melissa also managed NYSIF's Disability Benefits unit and oversaw the agency's successful implementation of Governor Cuomo's Paid Family Leave program in 2018. Melissa has an MBA, a BS in Accounting, and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Empire State College. She also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification through the Project Management Institute.

Tim Koester, Chief Actuary: With over 30+ years of experience as an actuary, Tim joined NYSIF in 2017 as its Chief Actuary. Prior to joining NYSIF, Tim held various actuarial leadership positions in the property & casualty industry, including most recently serving as a Vice President within Liberty Mutual’s personal lines division. He also served as Chief Actuary for ManagedComp Insurance Company, a monoline workers’ compensation insurer with an emphasis on managed care. Tim spent 11 years as a consultant with an emphasis on workers’ compensation self-insurance, reserve and funding levels, loss portfolio transfers and rate filings. Tim started his career in workers’ compensation at the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau. Tim graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in statistics. He was admitted as a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) in 1996.

Chad Loshbaugh, Director of Administration: Chad joined NYSIF in February 2022, bringing with him more than 20 years of executive and administrative experience. Chad most recently spent six years as the Director of Administration and Operations at the NYS Department of Financial Services and almost four years as Deputy Commissioner of Administration at the State Liquor Authority. Chad also worked on Human Resources, Labor Relations and Compensation matters at the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, NYS Department of Civil Service and the NYS Division of the Budget. Chad earned a JD from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, an MPA from Hamline University, an MA from the University of Northern Colorado and a BA from Tulane University.

Kristin Markwica, Director, Disability Benefits and Paid Family Leave: Kristin was appointed Director of Disability Benefits in April 2018, and played a pivotal role in implementing the Paid Family Leave program at NYSIF. Kristin is responsible for overseeing NYSIF’s statewide underwriting and claims operations for Disability and Paid Family Leave. She has worked on a wide range of initiatives, including the modernization of the claims system, and leads many operational initiatives focused on delivering exceptional customer service. Before joining NYSIF, she spent 16 years with American International Group (AIG), in various positions within their Environmental and Workers’ Compensation insurance units. She has a BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont.


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