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Consumer Agency Names First Head of Office of Older Americans

Skip Humphrey pledges to fight financial abuse

Humphrey was elected to the all-volunteer AARP board of directors in 2008. In a statement, AARP CEO Barry Rand praised Humphrey as a "stellar choice," saying "he has proven leadership skills and an extraordinary passion for serving the needs of people 50-plus."

Hubert's son

Humphrey served four consecutive terms as Minnesota attorney general, from 1983 to 1999. He served as a Minnesota state senator from 1973 to 1983. In 1988, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, where his father, Hubert H. Humphrey II, served from 1949 to 1964, before becoming vice president under Lyndon Johnson.

The elder Humphrey ran unsuccessfully for president in 1968 but returned to the Senate in 1971 and served until his death in 1978.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act called for creating several offices to address the needs of particular sets of Americans, including people 62 or older, military veterans and the poor.

Earlier this year, Holly Petraeus, wife of retired Gen. David Petraeus, former commander in Afghanistan, was appointed to head the military affairs office.

Raj Date, special adviser to the secretary of the Treasury and the consumer bureau, said Humphrey's experience makes him an excellent choice for the job.

"As baby boomers join the ranks of the retired, their hard-earned savings should help them realize opportunities, not serve as the target of deception and fraud," Date said.

State senator, attorney general

"Skip's experience as a state attorney general and state senator, and his work with seniors in his home state of Minnesota as well as on the national front, make him a perfect fit to lead the Office of Older Americans," Date said.

In a statement, the Office of Older Americans outlined plans to:

  •  Educate and engage older Americans about their financial choices in the area of long-term savings, retirement planning and long-term care.
  •  Reach out and coordinate with senior groups, law enforcement, financial institutions and other federal and state agencies to identify and prevent scams targeting older people.
  •  Make an effort to protect seniors from fraud and deception in financial counseling services.

You may also like: Financial reform and you. >>

Elaine S. Povich is a veteran congressional correspondent.

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