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AARP Public Policy Our Policy Leaders

The AARP National Policy Council (NPC) is a 25-member, all-volunteer policy analysis and advisory body to AARP’s board of directors. The NPC is tasked with leading efforts to integrate member and public opinion with careful study of policies, and making policy recommendations to the board. NPC members serve on one of three policy committees: Consumer and Livable Communities; Health and Long-Term Services and Supports; and Economic, Employment and Low-Income Issues.

 

Current NPC Members

Catherine Alicia Georges

Bronx, NY

(NPC Chair)

Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN is professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is president of the National Black Nurses Foundation. Previously, she held various positions at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. She serves on the Board of the Black Women’s Health Study and RAIN Inc. She earned her undergraduate degree from the Seton Hall University College of Nursing, her M.A. in Nursing from New York University, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Vermont.

 

Leo Asen

New York, NY

Leo Asen has over thirty years of management experience in the financial services industry, including business critical areas involving technology. He has been a vice president at Citicorp and most recently chief innovation officer at Selfhelp Community Services, a provider of affordable housing and home- and community-based services. Leo also held key volunteer leadership positions at LeadingAge and LeadingAge New York and is currently AARP New York State President. He received an MBA in Financial Management from Pace University and a BSME/IE from the University of Toledo.

 

Diane Bell-McKoy

Baltimore, Maryland

Diane is president/CEO of Associated Black Charities, Maryland’s leading African-American philanthropic organization. Its signature strategy, More in the Middle, expands opportunities and access for people of color, counteracting the detrimental impact of structural racism on economic and health outcomes. She serves on a number of philanthropic and civic boards and has received numerous awards, among them being named to The Daily Record’s Top 100 Women on three occasions, placing her in its Circle of Excellence.

 

Robert “Bob” Blancato

Washington, DC

Bob Blancato is chair of the American Society on Aging and a board member of the National Council on Aging. He is president of Matz, Blancato, & Associates, a public and government relations firm. Bob is also Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs and National Coordinator for the Elder Justice Coalition. He previously served as State President of AARP Virginia, on the staff of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging, and has participated in four White House Conferences on Aging.

 

Carlos Brandenburg

Reno, Nevada

For more than a decade, Carlos was the administrator of the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, developing and implementing policy on community-based mental health residential services throughout Nevada. He served as president of the board of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Administrators.

 

Rosemary Chapin

Lawrence, Kansas

Rosemary is a nationally-recognized leader and widely-published expert on aging policy, with particular expertise in long-term care. She is a professor and the founder and current director of the Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. She recently received the Career Achievement Award for her contributions to gerontological social work and was designated a Pioneer by the national organization, Influencing Social Policy for her work to reform state long term care policy.

 

Michael Eduardo Cortés

Denver, Colorado

Michael brings four decades of experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy on a wide array of issues affecting Latino communities. He is scholar-in-residence at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work where he also teaches graduate courses in policy analysis and social policy advocacy. He recently completed a fellowship at the Colorado Latino Age Wave initiative. Early in his career, he led and helped establish the policy research and advocacy arm of the National Council of La Raza. 

 

James “Jim” Coutts

Swanton, Vermont

(East Region Rep.)

Jim has decades of management experience in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries and has held significant leadership positions helping low- and moderate-income seniors living in rural communities. Currently a commissioner on SerVermont, the state’s Commission on National and Community Service, he is also a commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Successful Aging. He serves as the NPC’s East Region representative.

 

Mary F. Dillard

Malvern, Arkansas

(Central Region Rep.)

Mary spent her career in the social and public service arenas and as an advocate for women.  She has extensive experience in policy development and implementation as well as in facilitation and planning.  For 30 years she has run her own business, providing consulting services to political campaigns, governmental agencies and nonprofit groups. Mary is a former state president of AARP Arkansas and currently serves as the NPC’s Central Region representative.

          

Sally Hart

Tucson, Arizona

(Chair, NPC Health and LTSS Committee)

Sally was counsel at the National Senior Citizens Law Center, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, and the Arizona Center for Disability Law, as well as at a private law firm specializing in elder law.  With more than 40 years’ experience working primarily in Medicare, Medicaid and on long-term care issues, Sally has served on CMS’s Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee, as an officer and lecturer for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and with various national and state legal aid associations.

 

Martha M. Hayes

Dallas, TX

Martha Hayes is a senior executive focused on meeting the needs of consumers 50 and older through marketplace innovation and outstanding customer service. She heads Dally Consulting and held various leadership positions at the Sara Lee Corporation. Martha was Board Chair of AARP Services, Inc. and has devoted over 20 years to the board of American Woodmark Corporation. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and has pursued graduate studies at the Wharton School of Business and Emory University.

 

Denise Klein

Seattle, WA

Denise Klein is executive director of Wider Horizons Village in Seattle, a member-driven non-profit dedicated to aging at home. Previously, she was Area Agency on Aging director for Seattle-King County, CEO of Senior Services, and a researcher at Purdue University. Denise also taught public policy classes at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She was a board member and Treasurer of the American Society on Aging.

 

William “Bill” Kosturko

Killingworth, CT

Bill Kosturko worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years, including as an executive at People’s United Financial, Inc., where he interacted with federal and state regulators, among other functions. Bill serves on the Connecticut Retirement Security Board and is a board member of several nonprofit groups in Connecticut. He joined the AARP Connecticut Executive Council in 2009. Bill received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

 

Tedson J. Meyers

Fairhope, Alabama

An expert in communications law and policy, Tedson was appointed by the president to the D.C. City Council with Senate confirmation and served as the assistant to the chair of the Federal Communications Commission and to the director of the Peace Corps. He founded the National Center for Bicycling & Walking and currently chairs the boards of Smart Coast and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation. Tedson serves on the AARP Alabama Executive Council and Capitol Advocacy team.

 

Janine Migden-Ostrander

Columbus, OH

Janine Migden-Ostrander has worked in public utility law for 35 years. She is a principal at the Regulatory Assistance Project, advising stakeholders on utilities issues. Previously, Janine was Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, where she represented Ohio’s households with their utility companies. She was a member of the National Low Income Energy Consortium and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. Janine earned a B.A. from the State University of New York and a J.D. from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

          

Honorable Thomas Joel Miller

Alexandria, Virginia

Tom brings substantial international experience to AARP, having served nearly three decades as an American diplomat, including being appointed as United States ambassador three times.  Along with serving as president of the International Executive Service Corps, he is chairman of the board of the International Commission on Missing Persons.  His other experience includes leading the United Nations Association of the USA and serving as CEO of Plan International, a child-focused international charity working in 66 countries.

 

Mark Mustian

Tallahassee, Florida

Mark served as city commissioner for the city of Tallahassee for 10 years and now practices law in the area of public finance. He provides counsel to cities, counties and school districts borrowing money to finance public infrastructure and has extensive experience in financing nonprofit hospitals, nursing homes and other senior-care facilities. He is the author of two novels and a recipient of the Florida Gold Book Award for fiction.

 

Alice J. Palmer

Chicago, Illinois

A longtime civic leader and progressive activist, Alice is a former Illinois state senator from Chicago. Her tenure in the state Senate includes service on the Senate Revenue Committee. Alice has led international efforts against race and xenophobia and guided the Illinois State Universities Retirement System as a board member. She was executive director of Chicago Cities in Schools and founding director of the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA Youth and Government Program. Alice was also Associate Dean of Students and Director of African American Student Affairs at Northwestern University.

 

John C. Ruoff

Columbia, South Carolina

(NPC Vice–Chair, Economic Committee Chair, Mega and South Region Rep.)

John is the principal of a consulting firm that provides research and policy analysis focused on state tax, budget and fiscal policy, health care access and affordability, and voting rights and redistricting.  He was the founding executive director of South Carolina Fair Share, which works to advance the health, safety, and well-being of state residents. He has provided expert testimony on racial polarization in voting and racial disparities in socioeconomic indicators. John serves as the NPC’s South Region representative and the interim representative for the Mega region.

 

Barbara J. Sabol

Lawrence, Kansas

Barbara is a retired nurse and a former commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration. She also served as president of University Research Corp., a for-profit multidisciplinary firm providing training and health education, as executive deputy commissioner of New York Department of Social Services, and as secretary of the Kansas Departments of Health and Environment. In addition, Barbara spent 13 years as a program director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

 

Rita Saenz

Sacramento, CA

Rita Saenz is a legislative affairs consultant who was director of the California Department of Social Services and of California governmental affairs at Xerox. She was Communications Director for the California Medi-Cal Management System and served under Governor Jerry Brown Jr. in various positions, including an appointment to the California Commission on Aging. Rita is a member of the AARP California Executive Council. She studied liberal arts at East Los Angeles Community College.

 

Lucy Savitz

Salt Lake City, UT

Lucy Savitz is Assistant Vice President for Delivery System Science in the Intermountain Healthcare Institute for Healthcare Delivery Research, focusing on patient activation and shared decision-making. Lucy is also a Research Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in the University of Utah School of Medicine, where she works on patient-centered research and preventative medicine. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MBA and BSBA from the University of Denver.

 

Rafael I. Torres

Laredo, Texas

Rafael brings substantial experience in community economic development, with particular expertise in affordable housing, financial education and access to capital for low-income families. He is chairman of the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) and executive director of the Azteca Economic Development and Preservation Corporation, one of NALCAB’s founding members.

 

Honorable David M. Walker

Bridgeport, CT

David "Dave" Walker is a senior strategic advisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has significant retirement security, and citizen engagement experience. Dave has served as head of three federal agencies, including as U.S. Comptroller General and as head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He was assistant secretary of Labor for the now Employee Benefit Security Administration and was acting head of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Dave also served as a public trustee for the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

           

Lynn E. Young,

Meridian, Idaho

(Chair, NPC Consumer Committee, Major and West Region Rep.)

Lynn’s professional background includes 23 years with a large school district and nine years with a public water district in Southern California. As support services manager/board secretary for the water district, Lynn developed management policy that became the model for other water districts throughout the state. Her background also includes developing a school accountability reporting system, advocating on public utilities, and testifying before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and the Idaho Legislature. Currently retired, she serves as the NPC’s West Region representative and as interim representative for the Major states region.

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