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AARP's New Board Chair, Annette Franqui, Describes Her Vision

She's the first Hispanic to fill the role

Annette Franqui

Annette Franqui

What is your role at AARP?

Chair of the board of directors. We approve AARP's strategic direction and oversee management's execution of AARP's strategic goals.

What are you trying to achieve?

I would like to help people reach their potential at this stage of life. We work to change the conversation and the approach to aging in America.

Describe a recent accomplishment.

Working with AARP management to approve investing $60 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund. Brain health is a top concern of our members.

What makes you excited about aging in America?

The opportunity to expand your horizons beyond day to day. We have seen a tremendous expansion of what people think older adults can do — and that will only increase.

What makes you angry about aging in America?

The significant disparities in the availability of health care based on socioeconomic and ethnic groups. AARP is helping, but there is still a lot to do.

Lightning Round

Currently on my nightstand: Where the Crawdads Sing

If I could go anywhere, I would: go hiking or biking in Colorado

Person who most inspires me: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and other trailblazing women

My secret passion is: Latin music and dancing to it

My favorite comfort food is: blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream

What is your greatest challenge?

Focus. We are only human, but thankfully, we have wonderful leaders, employees and volunteers who help us reach ever more ambitious goals.

What values of our founder, Ethel Percy Andrus, inspire you?

She had a wonderful sense of what is possible and how our later years could be a time of discovery. She never stopped teaching and learning.

What should more people know about AARP?

Many people would be surprised by the breadth and depth of what we do: not only protecting Social Security and Medicare and opposing sky-high drug prices but also combating fraud, advocating for family caregivers and more.

What is your most important short-term goal?

The pandemic has been devastating for so many, both financially and mentally. We need to help them navigate these times.

What is your most passionate long-term goal?

My mother has long suffered from dementia. I want to raise awareness of this illness and highlight the human side of it. At AARP, we care about helping people age with dignity, and this could not be more important than when caring for a loved one with dementia.

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