The leadership team, composed of staff members who manage their respective divisions, works in conjunction with the Board of Governors.
President and CEO, CFA Institute
915 E High Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
23/F Man Yee Building
68 Des Voeux Road
Central, Hong Kong
Paul Smith leads CFA Institute in promoting the highest standards of education, ethics, and professional excellence in the investment profession. Smith joined CFA Institute in 2012 as Managing Director for Asia Pacific, overseeing its expansion into China and India. He later assumed the leadership of its Institutional Partnerships division, which is responsible for engagement with key firms, groups, and associations in the global investment industry. He was appointed president and CEO in January 2015. He brings extensive leadership experience in the investment management industry, having held a variety of positions in major financial centers over 30 years. Smith started his career in asset management at Ermitage International, an alternative funds management company, progressively taking up roles of increasing responsibility across Europe (London, Paris, and Dublin) over 11 years — the last seven as the firm’s CEO. Smith moved to Asia in 1996, just as the region began to take off, to join Bank of Bermuda in Hong Kong as Asia head of securities services. In 2001, he was promoted to global head of funds services. After HSBC’s acquisition of the bank in 2004, he served as HSBC’s global head of alternative funds administration working in Hong Kong and New York, where he was responsible for the delivery of services to 2,000 investment funds with more than US$250 billion of assets. He has also pursued entrepreneurial roles, most recently as founder and CEO of the Hong Kong-based hedge fund investment management firm Asia Alternative Asset Partners for six years prior to joining CFA Institute. Early in his career, he worked as an auditor at Pricewaterhouse in London. With more than 20 years of experience in Asia, Smith is active in the region’s investment community and has served on the boards of a number of Asia-based funds over the years. He is a CFA charterholder and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. Smith holds a master’s degree in history from Oxford University.
Chief Human Resources Officer, CFA Institute
As Chief Human Resources Officer, Chris Ainsworth leads the Global Human Resources function and the HR team working in offices around the world. He is responsible for providing strategic leadership and counsel to the CFA Institute Leadership Team and Board of Governors. During his 20 years of success transforming and leading high performing teams across complex organizations, Ainsworth aligns the strategic HR vision to that of the organization and partners with leaders to develop high-performing, talented teams that deliver business-focused results. His HR expertise lies in the fields of organizational effectiveness, executive coaching and development, HR transformation and driving large scale, complex change. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President and Head of Talent and Organizational Effectiveness at TD Bank where he was responsible for the strategy and leadership of all talent-related HR functions. Prior to TD Bank, Ainsworth served as a Senior Human Resources Business Partner with American Express and was credited for the significant role he played in successfully navigating the recent credit crisis. He has held HR leadership roles at GMAC Insurance and State Farm Insurance. Ainsworth holds a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University and a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He has been an active volunteer in the communities in which he worked, focusing on organizations that support the elderly, LGBTQ youth, and animals.
Managing Director, EMEA, CFA Institute
As managing director of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Gary Baker leads the EMEA team to deliver measurable value to CFA Institute stakeholders and constituents throughout the region. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the EMEA region and strengthening relationships with member societies, as well as institutions, universities, regulators, and institutional partners in the region. In his role, Baker aims to strengthen the voice of CFA Institute on behalf of members to key stakeholders in the region. He is responsible for supporting CFA Institute policy development in EMEA, advancing the impact of advocacy efforts, and supporting EMEA member societies in delivering value to members and candidates. He also has a key focus on increasing charterholder commitment to continuing education. Additionally, he has management responsibility for research functions across CFA Institute, including the Financial Analysts Journal, the Future of Finance initiative, and the Research Foundation. Baker is based in London. Baker has been engaged in financial market investment research for the past 30 years with a highly successful track record in a wide range of sell-side strategic, analytic, and management roles. He previously worked at Merrill Lynch for 20 years in a number of global roles, including managing director and Chief European Equity Strategist. Most recently, he was Deputy Head of Research with Jefferies in London. During his career, Baker has been a leader in country, regional, and global roles across Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States. He holds a master's degree in geography from Cambridge University and earned the CFA charter in 1997.
Managing Director, Services Delivery and Chief Marketing Officer, CFA Institute
As managing director and chief marketing officer, Michael Collins is accountable for leading global and regional marketing, global brand and communications, and global customer care. He collaborates with all internal functions to help execute their strategic plans, engages with all external CFA Institute audiences, and employs effective methods of measuring the effectiveness of strategies and plans that support the CFA Institute annual plan and objectives. Collins is based in New York where he oversees the organization's New York office. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Collins worked for both public and private companies, including J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller & Company, Iomega, SAGA Software, Mercator Software, Gevity HR, and Computer Sciences Corporation (now DXC Technology).
Collins holds a BA degree in Communications from Rowan University in New Jersey.
Managing Director, Member Value and Society Relations, CFA Institute
As managing director of Member Value and Society Relations, Emily Dunbar brings together relationship management for both members and societies. Dunbar is an experienced and creative leader with a strong record of success in building high-performing, international teams in the financial services and not-for-profit sectors. In her 10 years at CFA Institute, Emily has developed an unerring sense of what matters to our members and our society partners and is aligning those interests to advance our shared mission. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Dunbar was a fundraiser for non-profits in the UK social welfare sector, including AddAction and Centrepoint. She has also worked in property management and the reinsurance industry. Dunbar holds a BA (Hons) degree in French Language and Literature from University College London (UCL). She is an alumna of the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Managing Director and Chief Compliance, Risk and Ethics Officer, CFA Institute
Member of CFA Society Washington, DC
As Chief Compliance, Risk and Ethics Officer, Leilani Hall leads global compliance, ethics, and risk management for CFA Institute, its member societies, and affiliations. She is responsible for all global compliance strategies and programs, risk management planning, emergency preparedness, and travel safety. She is also responsible for overseeing ethics-driven programs including the Professional Conduct and Global Industry Standards (GIS). GIS includes the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS), the Asset Manager Code and the Pension Trustee Code. Prior to joining CFA Institute, she served as director of strategic planning for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and as senior special adviser to the director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Leilani also served as senior vice president for Asian business development for the Pioneer Group at Unicredito Italiano, as chief compliance officer at AARP Financial, as chief financial officer and chief operations officer of the Enterprise Group at Mutual of New York, as chief operations officer at Evaluations Associates, and as an auditor and consultant at Deloitte. Leilani is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Investment Performance Analyst (CIPM), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has also received certifications as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP), Chartered Life Underwriter, and Chartered Financial Consultant. She holds a degree in accounting from Georgia State University.
Interim Chief Information Officer
As interim Chief Information Officer, Virginia Heraghty oversees all aspects of information technology globally for the organization. Her primary focus is to provide and support organization-wide IT, including infrastructure and architecture, applications development, business process reengineering, networks, and computer operations. She is accountable for the future vision and strategy of technology and systems at CFA Institute and leads the organization’s Global Strategic Design team. Heraghty is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has worked for CFA Institute since 2009, most recently in the role of Head, Global IT Business and Product Solutions. Prior to joining CFA Institute, she was the owner and principal consultant for a technology consulting company. Heraghty holds a BA from Princeton University and an MBA from the Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.
Managing Director, Credentialing, and Interim Managing Director, Americas, CFA Institute
As managing director of the Credentialing division, Stephen Horan leads the development of CFA Institute designation and certificate programs, including the CFA Program and the CIPM Program. As interim managing director of the Americas, he currently leads that team to deliver measurable value to CFA Institute stakeholders throughout the region. He also serves as leadership sponsor for the organization’s internal diversity and inclusion activities. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Horan brings a unique combination of industry and academic experience to CFA Institute. He previously served as an expert witness in securities litigation, a forensic economist in private practice preparing economic impact studies, a principal of a financial advisory firm, a financial analyst, and as a buy-side account manager and sell-side stockbroker. On the academic side, Horan served as a professor of finance and is a recognized researcher in wealth management, tax efficient investing, and derivatives. He has received numerous research grants and awards, including the 2012 Graham and Dodd Readers’ Choice Award, and his research has been profiled in leading publications. Horan has authored or co-authored several books, including the highly regarded book Strategic Value Investing (which has been on Warren Buffet’s Recommended Reading four consecutive years) and The New Wealth Management: A Financial Advisers Guide to Managing and Investing Client Assets. His work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, and the Financial Analysts Journal. He has been a frequent invited speaker at professional, academic, and CFA Institute events. Before joining CFA Institute, he was an active volunteer both locally and globally with CFA Institute. Horan holds a PhD in finance at the State University of New York/Buffalo and a BBA degree in finance at St. Bonaventure University. He earned the CFA charter in 1993, the CIPM designation in 2011, and the CAIA designation in 2018.
Interim CFO, CFA Institute
As interim CFO, Jeff Knighton leads the treasury, business planning and analysis, and finance and operations teams. He is responsible for the financial leadership of CFA Institute and for contributing to the organization’s strategic evolution and global expansion. Knighton is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. During his more than 20 years of experience in finance, Knighton served in various financial leadership positions within global organizations. Prior to joining CFA Institute in August 2017 as controller, Knighton served as senior finance manager and worldwide operations finance controller for Micron Technology, Inc., based in Singapore. In addition, he has held finance positions at JPMorgan Chase & Co., LexisNexis, and Allstate Insurance Company. Knighton holds an MBA from Virginia Tech and a BS degree in Finance from Radford University. In addition, he is a licensed CPA in the state of Virginia.
Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Legal & Board Services, CFA Institute
Sheri Littlefield oversees the organization’s global Legal Services and Board and Corporate Services function. As Chief Legal Officer, she oversees all legal matters on a global basis and serves as advisor to CFA Institute Leadership and Board of Governors. She directs and advises on global litigation, intellectual property protection strategies, transactional matters, employment issues, governance and other in-house legal services. Littlefield has practiced law in a variety of disciplines and matters encompassing complex transactions, international litigation, environmental law, international trade controls, antitrust, and employment law, among others. Most recently, she served as General Counsel at GE Industrial Solutions in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she oversaw all legal and compliance issues for the business around the world. She has served as General Counsel to GE Intelligent Platforms and as Counsel to the Hudson River Program for the General Electric Company, which included the implementation of one of the largest and most logistically complex environmental dredging cleanups in U.S. history. Prior to joining GE, she was Counsel in the Albany office of Nixon Peabody. Littlefield is the Immediate Past Chair of the Corporate Counsel Committee of the American Bar Association TIPS Section and Vice Chair of the Section’s Leadership Academy. She graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Japanese. Littlefield also earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.
Managing Director, Asia Pacific, CFA Institute
As managing director of Asia Pacific, Nick Pollard oversees operations of the region, including the organization’s two fastest growing markets – China and India. He is responsible for working with all CFA Institute stakeholders, increasing the number of candidates entering and moving through the organization’s credentialing programs, and working with institutional partners (employers) throughout the region. Pollard is based in Hong Kong. Pollard is a seasoned wealth management and banking executive and skilled at growing businesses in Europe and Asia. He brings a unique combination of strategic leadership skills as well as learning and professional development expertise. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Pollard was CEO of The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Coutts Asia division and, most recently, he was Head of International Learning and Professional Development for Coutts International. Pollard began his career with NatWest Group, subsequently part of the RBS Group, where he gained experience in marketing and talent development. He has lived and worked in the APAC region since 2009. He holds a BA from University College London, and is a Member of the Private Wealth Management Association.
Managing Director, Advocacy, CFA Institute
Kurt Schacht, JD, CFA, is managing director for policy and regulatory relations at CFA Institute. He oversees global advocacy efforts including regulatory consultations, policy research, standard setter engagement and serves on a range of stakeholder advisory groups engaged on investment management policy issues. His work is focused on advancing investor protection, financial market transparency and fairness, financial reporting and audit policy and industry professionalism. He is former Chairman of the Investor Advisory Committee to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is currently serving a three-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees for the IFRS Foundation which oversees the IASB. He served as a member of the European Commission's Expert Group on Corporate Bond Market Liquidity based in Brussels in 2017. He is a member of the: Harvard Corporate Governance Forum Advisory Council; Board of Trustees - for the Greenwich Roundtable; Advisory Board - Columbia Law Millstein Center for Global Markets. He served two terms on the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's standing advisory group. Previously, Schacht served as chief operating and legal officer for a retail mutual complex; general counsel and COO for a Manhattan-based hedge fund; and chief legal officer for the State of Wisconsin Investment Board in Madison, Wisconsin. Schacht holds a BS degree and a JD degree from the University of Wisconsin. He was awarded the CFA charter in 1998.