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Help AARP Foundation win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50 and over.

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Every year, AARP Foundation helps millions of struggling older adults 50 and over win back opportunity. We couldn't do it without the generous support of individuals and institutions.

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AARP Foundation
Executive Leadership

Lisa M. Ryerson

Lisa Marsh Ryerson | President

Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President

Lisa Marsh Ryerson is president of AARP Foundation, AARP’s largest affiliated charity. Leading the organization since the fall of 2013, she is responsible for setting the Foundation’s strategic direction and leading its social impact initiatives. She also serves on AARP’s Executive Leadership Team. 

Ms. Ryerson joined AARP Foundation after serving for 18 years as the president and CEO of Wells College in Aurora, New York. Her many accomplishments there include increasing enrollment by 45 percent, fueling the economic revitalization of the surrounding community, and launching an endowed Center for Business and Entrepreneurship.

The innovative leadership she demonstrated at Wells has also characterized her work at AARP Foundation, whose stated mission is to create and advance effective solutions to help vulnerable older adults meet their basic needs. Under her leadership, the Foundation has embarked on new relationships with dynamic organizations to deliver innovative solutions for older adults struggling with insufficient income, food insecurity, inadequate housing and social disconnectedness. A multiyear collaboration with the Miami Dolphins, announced in 2014, draws on the strengths of the Foundation and the Dolphins to meet the needs of the local community and also shine a national spotlight on the plight of older Americans. Such collaborative efforts are the hallmark of Ms. Ryerson’s approach to the Foundation’s mission.

Other achievements during her first year at AARP Foundation include a $3 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund to increase the impact of the Foundation’s Back to Work 50+ program that helps the long-term unemployed find employment; the release of a ground-breaking report on the state of housing for America’s older adults; and implementing the Foundation’s new “innovation pipeline,” an approach that applies business-world rigor to new ideas about the most effective ways to help the low-income 50+.and the establishment of an “innovation pipeline” within the organization to find the next new initiatives and programs to meet the needs of the vulnerable 50+.

Ms. Ryerson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wells College and a master of science from the State University of New York College at Cortland. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the State University of New York at Albany for having “met and exceeded each of John Quincy Adams’ standards for leadership.”

Programs & Services

Couple standing outside home, Create the Good

Housing Solutions Center

This program offers free HUD-certified counseling and assistance to 50-plus homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. Go

AARP Tax Aide

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

This program offers free assistance with tax-return preparation. Go

grandmother with her two grandaughters

AARP Benefits QuickLink

See if you qualify for public assistance and you can save money on health care, medication, food, utilities, and more! Go

Drive to End Hunger car

AARP Drive to End Hunger

Feeding people today, preventing hunger in the future. Join the fight to end hunger. Do

Medical team at a computer, AARP Foundation Back to Work 50+


We are partnering with workforce services providers to strengthen the bridge between 50+ job candidates and respected employers. Go