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AARP’s Executive Vice President on Fighting for Older Americans

Kevin Donnellan on helping communities and fighting for the issues that matter most to families

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April Greer

What is your role at AARP?

I serve as the link between our CEO and the Executive and Leadership teams, enabling her to remain focused on AARP’s strategic priorities.

What are you trying to achieve with your work at AARP?

To help people turn their goals and dreams into reality, to strengthen communities and to fight for issues that matter most to families, such as health care, job security and retirement planning.

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Describe a victory by your team.

One part of AARP’s recent 60th-anniversary celebration, which I led, was to build a fitness park in all 50 states. These parks are a part of AARP’s gift to America as we celebrate this milestone anniversary.

What makes you excited about aging in America?

Lighting Round

Currently on my nightstand: Facts and Fears by James R. Clapper

If I could go anywhere: I’d go back to Tuscany.

Person who most inspires me: My accomplished and compassionate wife, Barbara

My favorite comfort food: Chocolate

You really should watch: Atlantic Crossing, on PBS

We have made great progress toward living longer, healthier, more productive lives. This is one of modern society’s greatest achievements.

What are your concerns about aging in America?

I am concerned about disparities in our society—in health care, economic opportunity and quality of life because everyone should have the power to choose how they live as they age.

What are the most challenging battles your team encounters?

The fight against age discrimination. Despite laws that make it illegal, it still exists for far too many people.

What should more people know about AARP?

We are more than just discounts. We fight for older Americans on issues like financial resilience and inflated drug prices. We confronted challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial and social injustice. During contentious elections, we provided people 50-plus with unbiased information to help them make informed choices.

What is your foremost short-term goal?

To take all we learned at AARP while working at home for 18 months during the pandemic and apply those lessons to making work in the office more efficient and productive.

What is your most passionate long-term goal?

To change the negative stereotypes of aging so that all Americans can choose how they live and work as they age.