Presenters
Karl D. Johnson - Project Manager GASB

Karl Johnson is a project manager for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the Norwalk, Connecticut-based independent, professional standard-setting organization that establishes generally accepted accounting principles for state and local governments. He served as project manager on the following publications:

  • The Implementation Guide to Statements 25-27 on pension reporting (1997)
  • Interpretation No. 6 on modified-accrual recognition and measurement of certain liabilities and expenditures (2000)
  • Statements No. 43 and No. 45 on accounting and financial reporting for other post-employment benefits by plans and employers, respectively (2004)
  • Technical Bulletin No. 2004-2 on recognition of pension and other post-employment benefit expenditures/expense and liabilities by cost-sharing employers (December 2004)
  • Technical Bulletin No. 2006-1 on accounting and financial reporting by employers and other post-employment benefit plans for payments from the federal government pursuant to the retiree drug subsidy option under Medicare Part D (June 2006)

In addition, Johnson collaborated on the Implementation Guide to Statements 43 and 45 on other post-employment benefits (June 2005) and Statement No. 47 on accounting for termination benefits (June 2005), and has contributed to several other projects.

Currently, he is the project manager of two pension-related projects: Pension Disclosures and Pension Accounting Research.

He received a B.A. in history from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and an MPA in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the GASB staff, he worked for two years with Touche Ross & Co. in Dallas, Texas, and for 24 years with the Texas State Auditor's Office in Austin. He is a Texas CPA.

J. Richard Johnson
Senior Vice President
Public Sector Health Practice Leader

Rick Johnson is a Senior Vice President in the Washington, D.C. office of The Segal Company and serves as the Company's Public Sector Health Practice Leader and the East Region Public Sector Market Leader. He joined The Segal Company in 1988. Segal is an independent employee benefits consulting and actuarial firm headquartered in New York, with offices in 19 cities in the Unites States and Canada.

Mr. Johnson has over 30 years of experience in all phases of state and local and federal government retirement, deferred compensation, health and welfare plans, executive benefits and strategic benefit planning. His experience also includes service with the Trust and Investment Group of a large regional bank, where he managed the research, development and administration of benefits and investment related services and electronic systems.

Mr. Johnson serves as principal consultant on health benefit, retirement and compensation issues to a number of state and local governments, school systems and statewide retirement systems. His recent consulting assignments include: consulting to clients to contract directly with Medicare as employer/union PDPs, development of cafeteria benefits for the Federal Executive Branch work force; analysis of 457, 403(b) and 401(k) programs; analysis of income replacement and retirement benefit sufficiency through combinations of defined benefit and defined contribution plans and Social Security; review of Medicaid pricing methodologies; analysis of benefit administration practices and procedures; development of strategic plans for benefit programs; technical and process assistance in the procurement of benefit programs by public jurisdictions; review of retiree health benefit programs; and consulting on the application of pension obligation
bonds as a funding vehicle for public retirement systems.

Mr. Johnson received a B.A. with Honors from Hendrix College in 1972 and a Master of Arts degree in speech and communication from Louisiana State University in 1974.

Geoffrey Buswick, Standard and Poor's

Geoffrey Buswick is a director and the office head of Standard & Poor’s Public Finance Ratings Boston Office. As office head, Buswick is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the regional office, as well as for overseeing the investor relations’ activities that serve New England. He joined Standard & Poor's in 2000 as a state and local government analyst. In that role, he served as the state primary analyst for Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and was active on the Massachusetts and Connecticut state credits, as well as covering various counties and localities throughout New England. Additionally, Buswick was a national sector leader for both state revolving fund/pool issues and pension issues (including other post-employment benefits).

Prior to joining Standard & Poor’s as an associate in the state and local government sector, Buswick served as the CFO, treasurer and collector for the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts. In addition, he spent three years as the administrative officer for the City of North Adams, Massachusetts. Buswick holds both a B.A. in political science and an MPA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association and the Boston Municipal Analysts forum, which is affiliated with the National Federation of Municipal Analysts.

Mary Beth Braitman, ICEMiller

Works with governmental retirement systems on federal tax questions, compliance with federal law, fiduciary issues and plan design innovations. Recent projects include financing/designing health benefits; fiduciary audits on governance and investment practices; innovative pick-up programs and qualified excess benefit arrangements; correction projects; design of compliance strategies.

Mary Beth Braitman's primary area of law is employee benefits where she represents a number of public retirement systems and educational institutions. She works with numerous public pension plans around the country on tax issues, plan design issues, plan qualification issues, IRS compliance issues, fiduciary issues, and health care issues.

Janet Smith - Personnel Director, City of Phoenix

For the past 18 years, Ms. Smith has served in various management positions in the Personnel Department at the City of Phoenix in Arizona . She was appointed Assistant Personnel Director in June 2001 and recently served as Acting Personnel Director until her appointment to Personnel Director in December 2006. Ms. Smith has managed the employment services, employee development, safety and benefits sections of the department, and, supervised administration of the compensation plan, pay related policies and federally-mandated programs.

In addition, Ms. Smith chairs the city's Health Care Task Force, which is charged with balancing a health benefits plan design with cost containment challenges for more than 14,000 employees and retirees. She also chaired a citywide task force to address workplace violence prevention issues, and has conducted numerous training programs for supervisors and managers. In addition to her management experience, Ms. Smith has a bachelor's degree in public administration from the University of Arizona .

Dr. Reed Tuckson - United Health Care

A graduate of Howard University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's General Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship Programs, Dr. Tuckson is currently Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs at UnitedHealth Group where he is responsible for working with all of the Company's business units to improve the quality and efficiency of health services.

Formerly, Dr. Tuckson served as Senior Vice President, Professional Standards, for the American Medical Association (AMA). He is former President of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles ; has served as Senior Vice President for Programs of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation; and is a former Commissioner of Public Health for the District of Columbia.

Dr. Tuckson is an active member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and served as the Chairperson of its Quality Chasm Summit Committee and a member on their Committee on the Consequences of the Uninsured . Currently, he serves as Chair of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society. Additionally, he recently served as a Commissioner, Certification Commission on Health Information Technology (CCHIT); and is currently a member of the Performance Measurement Workgroup, Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA); and the Quality Workgroup, American Health Information Community (AHIC).

Dr. Tuckson has also held other federal appointments, including cabinet level advisory committees on health reform, infant mortality, children's health, violence, and radiation testing.