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AARP Board of Directors

The 21-member volunteer Board of Directors is the governing body of AARP and approves all policies, programs, activities, and services for the Association's 37 million members.


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Barbara O'Connor

Member, AARP Board of Directors

Barbara O’Connor, Ph.D., is a communications professor from Sacramento, Calif. She is an emeritus professor of communications and emeritus director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at California State University. She serves as a director and officer of the California Emerging Technology Fund. Previously, she coached debate at the University of Southern California, Georgetown University and California State University. She has served as chair and founding board member of the Alliance for Public Technology, chair of the California Public Broadcasting Commission and is the founder of the Capital Public Radio network. She is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of political communication, and telecommunications policy and applications. She has served as an expert communications and technology consultant for the U.S. Congress; FCC; California government,  including the California Public Utilities Commission; press and media entities, as well as many corporations. As a professor of communications, she has received many prestigious awards and honors, including distinguished professor and technology leadership awards.


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John Penn

Member, AARP Board of Directors

Jack Penn, MBA, divides his time between Scottsdale, Ariz., and Spring Green, Wis. He is chairman of Northcott Hospitality, based in Chanhassen, Minn. Previously, he was chairman of Intek Plastics, vice chairman of Satellite Companies, CEO of Centers for Diagnostic Imaging, CEO of Benson Optical Co., CEO of Arctic Enterprises and a consultant with Arthur Andersen and Co. His volunteer work includes chairman of the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society.

Janet E. Porter, Member, AARP board of Directors

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Janet E. Porter

Member, AARP Board of Directors

Janet E. Porter, Ph.D., of Hilton Head, S.C., has 35 years of experience as a hospital administrator, teacher, association executive, consultant, public health leader and patient advocate. She joined Stroudwater Associates in 2012 and serves as a part-time strategy and operational consultant to academic medical centers, specialty hospitals, physician practices, pharmaceutical companies and national associations. Previously, she managed large health care facilities, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she was chief operating officer from 2006-2012. She has served on several nonprofit community, state and national boards.


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Diane Pratt

Member, AARP Board of Directors

Diane Pratt, M.C.R.P., of Washington, D.C., is president and CEO of DP Consultants Inc., a government and public affairs management firm. She previously served as staff director for the District of Columbia Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; special assistant for special projects, D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; economic development specialist, Center for Community Change; and city planner for the Chicago Department of Planning, City and Community Development. She serves on the board of the Henry C. Gregory III Family Life Center Foundation.

Libby Sartain, member, AARP Board of Directors

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Libby Sartain

Member, AARP Board of Directors

Libby Sartain, MBA, of Bastrop, Texas, is an independent advisor, working with companies on human resource issues. With more than 30 years of experience in human resources, she is also an author and frequent speaker, using her HR leadership and management experience at companies in technology, transportation and manufacturing. She led human resources operations at Yahoo! and at Southwest Airlines during transformative periods. Both companies were among Fortune magazine’s “Best Places to Work” during her tenure. She is the former board chair of the Society for Human Resource Management and is on the board of Manpower Group.


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Fernando Torres-Gil

Member, AARP Board of Directors

Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D., MSW, of Los Angeles, is a professor of social welfare and public policy, and director of the Center for Policy Research at UCLA. Previously, he chaired the Ph.D. in gerontology program at the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California, where he remains an adjunct professor. As a public servant, he was assistant secretary for aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and staff director for the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging. Currently, he serves as co-chair of the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence. He is a former White House Fellow and has received three presidential appointments, most recently to serve on the National Council on Disability.

New board member Ed Watson

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Edward A. Watson

Member, AARP Board of Directors

Ed Watson is a retired corporate executive from Reno, Nev. He was with Minneapolis-based International Dairy Queen from 1971 to 2007, rising from district manager to chief operating officer and service on its board of directors. Before his food service career, he served in the U.S. Army. He is on the board of Best Bath Systems of Coldwell, Idaho. Previous governance experience includes service on the boards of the Children’s Miracle Network and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. His volunteer work includes raising scholarship funds for Nevadans attending the University of Nebraska.

Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct sets forth what AARP expects from all our employees, volunteers, board members and those who do business with us.  Read More

Board Committees

The AARP Board of Directors oversees the Association’s policies, resources and programs through several standing committees. Read More

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