Charles Millard began his public service immediately after college. He served as a VISTA Volunteer in Crown Heights, Brooklyn from 1979 to 1980, helping indigent tenants advocate for heat and hot water and helping neighborhood associations improve safety and security.
In 1982, he interrupted his first year in law school to join the staff of legendary New Jersey Congresswoman, Millicent Fenwick. He became her senior legislative assistant, focusing on Foreign Affairs and Defense. He played an instrumental role in Mrs. Fenwick’s final legislative achievement, an amendment to fight against protectionism in trade legislation.
After returning to Columbia, he was selected as an International Fellow. Upon graduation, he went to Santiago, Chile where he worked for the Human Rights organization, the Vicariate of Solidarity. While there he wrote a lengthy paper describing the effectiveness of United States Human Rights policy in Chile. This paper became the basis for later Op Ed articles on the subject of Chile, Human Rights and Foreign Affairs generally.
In 1986, Millard joined the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. In addition to his work for the firm’s corporate clients, Millard handled numerous pro bono cases, including a precedent-setting case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Mathis v. Hood, strengthening certain constitutional rights concerning prisoners’ appeals.
In 1991, Millard was elected to the New York City Council, the first Republican from Manhattan in 25 years. In that role he drafted the original legislation that created the framework for New York’s initiative to eliminate pornography stores from many New York neighborhoods. This legislation required the balancing of numerous First Amendment and other constitutional concerns and has been upheld in Federal Court.
As Councilman, Millard also opposed politically-driven support for terrorists such as Joe Doherty and members of Puerto Rico’s violent terrorist separatist groups. In one incident, he was escorted from the Council floor under protection of intelligence officers after standing against a resolution calling for freedom for the perpetrators of the Wells Fargo bank robbery in Hartford Connecticut.
Millard was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1993, and ran unsuccessfully for Congress as the Republican nominee in 1994. In 1995, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani named Millard President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Chairman of the New York City Industrial Development Agency. He reorganized the EDC and created a system of performance reviews that resulted in numerous categories of improvement.
In addition, he concluded numerous negotiations and transactions that led to the redevelopment of 42nd Street and Times Square. He was responsible for negotiations with some of the city’s largest employers, including Merrill Lynch and AIG, to keep thousands of jobs in New York City. He was also the landlord for Fulton Fish Market, South Street Seaport and 10 million square feet of occupied real estate, and successfully privatized the then-city-owned United Nations Hotel.
From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Millard worked in the private sector in senior roles with Lehman Brothers, Prudential Securities, and as President of BP Direct Securities, a broker dealer that raised funds for investment in real estate.
From 2005 through 2006, he also wrote a regular column in the New York Post commenting from a conservative point of view on New York political, financial and governmental subjects.
In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed Millard Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a position he held until 2009. Millard was the first Director of the PBGC to be confirmed by the United States Senate, and as Director, he served as the chief executive officer of the PBGC and carried the rank of Under Secretary.
The PBGC insures the pensions of over 40 million Americans, has 2500 employees and manages $50 billion in investable assets.
Mr. Millard’s tenure at the PBGC was focused on reducing the Corporation’s long-term deficit through two initiatives – more aggressive stances in bankruptcy negotiations, and greater diversification in the Corporation’s investment policy.
His stances in bankruptcy court helped reduce the Corporation’s deficit, which fell from $18 billion to $11 billion during his tenure.
With the support of PBGC’s Board – the Secretaries of Treasury, Commerce and Labor – Mr. Millard addressed PBGC’s longer term deficit through a change in the Corporation’s investment policy from one that was relatively undiversified to one that is diversified and consistent with best practices among large institutional investors.
The PBGC faces a large long term deficit. This investment policy raised the likelihood that the Corporation could eliminate its deficit in ten years from 19% to 57%. This investment policy increased the Corporation’s allocation to alternative assets as well as to a diversified pool of international debt and equity.
Mr. Millard also led the PBGC to the adoption of the PBGC Standard for asset transition management – creating an industry standard for transparency and other best practices in the asset transition industry. Similarly, he launched a study of securities lending in order to assist PBGC in adopting an industry standard for clients in this complex and opaque part of the financial services world. He also created the Longevity Project, which regularly brings together leading market actors to discus and generate market solutions to the longevity risks faced by pension plans.
Mr. Millard led the PBGC to improved methods of procurement and investment in information technology. His leadership helped cut many millions of dollars from the Corporation’s spending in IT and changed its approach to investing in technology from one that was ad hoc and “silo-based” to one that is business driven and team oriented. His leadership in this area resulted in the achievement of one of the Corporation’s major goals: the removal of PBGC from the OMB “Watch” List.
The PBGC is regularly at the forefront of bankruptcy-related litigation and negotiations. In those proceedings, the PBGC’s goal is to help plan sponsors emerge from bankruptcy with their pension plans intact or, in the instances where that is impossible, to gain the greatest recovery possible on behalf of beneficiaries and the pension insurance system. Those efforts resulted in billions of dollars of loss mitigation and helped numerous large corporations, such as Dana, Dura, and Solutia emerge with their pension plans intact.
Mr. Millard also directed the activities of the PBGC as it negotiated on behalf of pension plans in cases such as Delphi and the proposed merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines.
As a management matter, Mr. Millard led PBGC’s successful adoption of the organization’s first Strategic Plan in years; in combination with this effort, all employees of PBGC also adopted individual performance plans keyed to the performance goals of the Corporation.