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The jury for the 2022 AARP Purpose Prize award is an independent panel of leaders in the fields of journalism, nonprofits, academia, innovation/technology and entertainment. These distinguished individuals were selected for their experience and judgment. After a rigorous vetting process, the jury makes recommendations about who should receive the AARP Purpose Prizes. The AARP CEO makes the final decisions.
The jury members are:
Michael Adams is the Chief Executive Officer of SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders). Prior to joining SAGE, he spent a decade leading cutting edge litigation that established new rights for LGBT people, first as Associate Director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, and then as Deputy Legal Director at Lambda Legal. A graduate of Stanford Law School and Harvard College, Adams has authored numerous publications on an array of LGBT issues. He has taught law school courses on sexual orientation and gender identity and has served on advisory councils for AARP, Fortune 500 companies, leading universities, and the New York City Department for the Aging among others. Adams is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Society on Aging.
Dr. BP Agrawal is founder and president of Sustainable Innovations. He founded the organization to harvest innovations in engineering, entrepreneurship, business, and social policies to build systemically sustainable social enterprises that can negotiate the difficult path from laboratory to market. For 20 years, he has led research and development at Fortune 100 companies. He is a former Purpose Prize Fellow. Agrawal is frequently invited by academic institutions, NGOs such as UNDP, and corporate laboratories to speak on management of innovations and the Gandhian approach to sustainability. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Ph. D degree in engineering science and is an alumnus of the MIT Sloan School’s Executive Management program.
Clarence E. Anthony is CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities (NLC). Under his leadership, NLC has advanced policies that expand local control and provide direct funding for local programs related to public safety, infrastructure, transportation, and sustainability. Prior to his appointment at NLC, Anthony served as President of Anthony Government Solutions, a consulting firm focused on providing solutions to government and private sector organizations on issues affecting the community, strategic visioning, policy development, business development and management restructuring. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration with specialization in City Growth Management policy from Florida Atlantic University.
Midy is Spitfire’s chief experience officer. Her portfolio at Spitfire centers on a wide range of public interest issues including income inequality, environmental and climate justice, healthy equity, and internet freedom and governance. Prior to joining Spitfire, Midy served as the founding executive director of the American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) of the National Park Foundation. Midy received her Bachelor of Science in communications from the School of Journalism at Florida International University. She serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Alaska Wilderness League and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado. She is also a member of the GreenLatinos network and the Diverse Environmental Leaders National Speakers’ Bureau.
John Bridgeland is founder & CEO of Civic Enterprises, vice chair of the Service Year Alliance at the Aspen Institute, Co-Convener of Grad Nation and vice chairman of Malaria No More. Previously, Bridgeland was appointed by President Obama to serve on the White House Council for Community Solutions. He also served as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Assistant to the President of the United States and first director of the USA Freedom Corps under President George W. Bush. He was a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Donna Butts has been the executive director of Generations United since 1997. Previously she served in leadership positions at the YWCA, National 4-H Council and Covenant House. Butts is an internationally known speaker, author and advocate. She has served on five United Nations expert panels and is a graduate of Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders. She has been recognized three times by the NonProfit Times as one of the top 50 most powerful and influential nonprofit executives in the nation. In 2015, she was named one of the “Top 50 Influencers in Aging” by the Next Avenue journalism website.
Dr. Yanira Cruz is the president and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging. In addition, she serves on the board of Justice in Aging and is a member of the Leaders of Aging Organizations collaborative. She is also a founding member of the Diverse Elders Coalition. She is an executive member of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda. She previously served on the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, which advised the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. She holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the George Washington University School of Public Health.
Martha Choe is a current board member of the Group Health Foundation. Choe previously served as chief administrative officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and director of the Global Libraries initiative. Choe also served in Governor Locke’s cabinet as the director of the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development, and was elected to two terms on the Seattle City Council. Choe previously served as chair and a member of the White House Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and on the boards of the Seattle Foundation, the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and many other organizations. She holds a BA in speech education and ethnic studies from the University of Washington and an MBA from Seattle University.
Cindy Eggleton is the Co-Founder and CEO of Brilliant Detroit, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building kid success families and neighborhoods. Eggleton previously served as Senior Director of Community Impact at United Way of Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) and ran a strategy and communications company. While at UWSEM, Eggleton worked on improving high school graduation rates, foreclosure prevention and was responsible for bringing the Social Innovation Fund for early childhood to Detroit. Eggleton has been recognized for her leadership multiple times including most recently as one of Crain's Detroit Business' Notable Women in Nonprofits. She earned her Master's in Psychology from Wayne State University.
Marc Freedman is founder and CEO of Encore.org. A former Visiting Scholar at Stanford, he is a member of the Wall Street Journal’s Experts panel, a frequent commentator in the national media and the author of four books, most recently The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife. Freedman cofounded Experience Corps and spearheaded the creation of the Purpose Prize. He has been honored as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the World Economic Forum, named one of the nation’s leading social entrepreneurs by Fast Company magazine three years in a row and honored with the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.
Jatrice Martel Gaiter serves as executive vice president, external affairs for Volunteers of America. Gaiter is currently a member of the Generations United board, the Independent Sector public policy committee, the Nonprofit VOTE leadership council, Leadership Greater Washington, National Press Club and the Metro Stage board. She has received numerous awards, including Washingtonian magazine’s 2006 Washingtonian of the Year and the Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business award. Gaiter earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland and a Juris Doctorate from the Syracuse University College of Law. She has completed several executive education courses including two from Harvard Business School.
Donna Gambrell is President and CEO of Appalachian Community Capital, a community development lender that raises money and provides low-cost loans to member organizations. The members in turn make loans to small businesses—including minority- and women-owned businesses- in Appalachia, a very underserved and under resourced area of our country. Since 2015, ACC has raised almost $20 million in grant and debt capital, which has financed close to 100 small businesses and create or retain more than 1,800 jobs in the region. In addition to her current duties, Ms. Gambrell is a visiting, non-resident scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank. Ms. Gambrell received a B.S. Degree from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and an M.S. Degree from New York University.
John Gomperts has been president and CEO at America’s Promise Alliance since 2012. Prior to joining America’s Promise, he served as the director of AmeriCorps. Over the course of his career, Gomperts has served in leadership roles in the U.S. Senate, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Encore.org, and the Public Education Network, among others. He serves on the boards of FoodCorps, the News Literacy Project, and Politics and Prose Bookstore. Gomperts graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and earned his J.D. from Georgetown University.
Dr. Marilyn H. Gaston is the first African American woman to direct a public health service bureau and only the second to achieve the position of Assistant Surgeon General and rank of Rear Admiral in the US Public Health Service. Her scientific achievements have been recognized in many awards and honors including the most prestigious honor awarded by the National Medical Association—the NMA Scroll of Merit. She is a frequent keynote speaker and co-author of the book: Prime Time: The African American Woman's Complete Guide to Midlife Health and Wellness. Dr. Gaston graduated from Miami University and the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.
Ernest Gonzales is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Human Behavior in the Social Environment curriculum area at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. He is a scholar in the areas of productive aging, health equity, discrimination and social policy. Dr. Gonzales publishes in leading scientific journals and is on several editorial boards. Prior to coming to NYU Silver, Gonzales was an Assistant Professor at Boston University’s School of Social Work, where he received the prestigious Peter T. Paul Career Development Award. Dr. Gonzales earned his PhD from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, his MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work, and a BA in Sociology from Hunter College at the City University of New York.
Jennie Chin Hansen is the former president of the AARP Board of Directors and past CEO of the American Geriatrics Society. Her prior service includes nearly 25 years with On Lok Inc., a family of community-based organizations helping seniors live independently for as long as possible. She serves on several boards, including the SCAN Foundation, the American Hospital Association Equity of Care Committee, the national Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Gerontology and Geriatrics, and the Department of HHS’ National Institutes of Health-National Advisory Council on Aging. In 2011, Hansen completed a six-year term as a federal commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. She is also the 2015 National Influencer on Aging by PBS' Next Avenue.
Evan Hochberg is the President of Crown Family Philanthropies where he leads the impact and family engagement efforts of one of the most charitable families in the world. Evan has held a number of leadership positions across the social sector including Chief Strategy Officer at United Way Worldwide, National Director of Corporate Citizenship at Deloitte, and Managing Director at Community Wealth Partners a leading social innovation consulting firm. His early career included experiences as a management consultant at Booz-Allen and Hamilton as well as nonprofit program positions at Melwood, March of Dimes, and the Phoenix Center for Education. Evan has a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MMHS from the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis University.
Margaret Huang is the president and chief executive officer of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Prior to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Huang worked with members of Congress on critical pieces of legislation, and she has advocated before the United Nations human rights mechanisms as well as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Huang also served as the executive director of Amnesty International USA and Rights Working Group, director of the U.S. program at Global Rights, program director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, program manager at The Asia Foundation, and committee staff for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She has also published articles and opinion pieces on human rights. Huang received a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
During nearly 30 years in the movie business, Sherry Lansing was involved in the production, marketing and distribution of more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump, Braveheart and Titanic. In 1992 she was named chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. In 1980 she was appointed president of 20th Century Fox, becoming the first woman to head a major film studio. As CEO of the nonprofit Sherry Lansing Foundation since 2005, Lansing’s missions are cancer research, public education and encore career opportunities. She is a cofounder of Stand Up To Cancer and founder of the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program.
Eric Liu is the co-founder and CEO of Citizen University. He also directs the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship & American Identity Program. He is the author of several books, including The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker; The Gardens of Democracy (co-authored with Nick Hanauer); You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen; and his most recent, Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility, and Democracy. Eric served as a White House speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and later as the President’s deputy domestic policy adviser. He has served as a board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Washington State Board of Education, and the Seattle Public Library and is a co-founder of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. A regular contributor to the Atlantic.
Mike McCurry is of counsel at PSW where he provides counsel on communications strategies and management to corporate and non-profit clients. He is also a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Public Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary. McCurry is a veteran political strategist and spokesperson with four decades of experience in the nation’s capital. McCurry served in the White House as press secretary to President Bill Clinton, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, and director of communications for the Democratic National Committee. McCurry currently serves on numerous boards or advisory councils including Share Our Strength, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, the White House Historical Association and the Executive Committee of the Global Health Initiative of the United Methodist Church. McCurry received his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University, and a Master of Arts from Wesley Theological Seminary.
Frankie Miranda is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Federation (HF). Frankie served in various leadership capacities at the Federation since 2006. Earlier in his career, Frankie held several senior management positions in the communications industry, including Director of Communications for the New York DMA TV stations WXTV, Univision 41 and WFUT UniMas 68; Deputy Press Secretary for Spanish Language Media for the Hillary Clinton U.S. Senate campaign in 2000, and Fernando Ferrer’s NYC Mayoral campaign in 2001. Frankie holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico and a MA degree in Performance Studies from New York University.
Michelle Nunn is president/CEO of CARE USA, a poverty-fighting and leading humanitarian organization working in more than 90 countries. She has spent 27 years in civic and public service, as a social entrepreneur, CEO for volunteer nonprofits Hands On Atlanta and Points of Light, and a candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia. The NonProfit Times has named her seven times to its annual Power and Influence Top 50 list, and Georgia Trend magazine named her one of its 100 Most Influential Georgians.
Clarence Page, the 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, is a columnist syndicated nationally by Tribune Content Agency and a member of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. He also has been a regular contributor of essays to the PBS NewsHour, a panelist on the McLaughlin Group, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, ABC's Nightline, BET's Lead Story news panel programs and a commentator on NPR and WGN-TV. He received lifetime achievement awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the Chicago Headline Club and the National Association of Black Journalists. In 1992, he was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.
Ngozi is a former AARP Purpose Prize fellow. She founded Custom Collaborative, a workforce development and incubator program that trains women from low-income immigrant communities to launch careers as seamstresses, designers and fashion entrepreneurs. Among other distinctions, she is certified by New York University’s Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising, was a 2014 Environmental Leadership Program fellow, and is a graduate of the Coro Leadership New York program. In 2019 Ngozi was named “Changemaker of the Year” by New York City Fair Trade Coalition and received “Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award” from New York Women’s Foundation. Ngozi is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Morgan State University. She is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and New York.
Mónica Ramírez is a long-time advocate, organizer, social entrepreneur and attorney fighting to eliminate gender-based violence and secure gender equity. In 2003, Ramírez created the first legal project in the United States dedicated to addressing gender discrimination against farmworker women, which she scaled to create Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition to founding Justice for Migrant Women, she co-founded Alianza Nacional de Campesinos and served until President of their Board until 2018. Ramirez has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including Harvard Kennedy School’s inaugural Gender Equity Changemaker Award, the Feminist Majority’s Global Women’s Rights Award, and inclusion on Forbes Mexico's 2018 list of 100 Powerful Women, among other distinctions. She is graduate of Loyola University Chicago, The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law and Harvard Kennedy School.
Kimon Sargeant is Vice President, Programs at the John Templeton Foundation. He oversees the Human Sciences, Character Virtue Development, and Individual Freedom & Free Markets departments. Sargeant is responsible for developing new initiatives on virtues such as generosity, purpose and gratitude, as well as projects that analyze global trends in religion and spirituality. Previously Sargeant served as a program officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts. He is the author of Seeker Churches: Promoting Traditional Religion in a Nontraditional Way and coeditor of Spirit and Power: The Growth and Global Impact of Pentecostalism.
Kurt L. Schmoke was appointed as the University of Baltimore’s eighth president as of July 7, 2014. Schmoke served as the mayor of Baltimore from 1987 to 1999 and was the Baltimore City State’s Attorney from 1982 to 1987. Prior to joining UB, he was dean of the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., from 2003 to 2012. Following that, he was appointed general counsel for Howard and also served as the institution’s interim provost. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush awarded him the National Literacy Award for his efforts to promote adult literacy. Two years later, President Bill Clinton praised his programs aimed at improving public housing and enhancing community-based economic development. Schmoke earned his undergraduate degree in history from Yale University. He pursued graduate studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.
Akash is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about impacting people’s health. Currently, he is Co-Founder and Head of Product at Care/of, which offers personalized vitamins, protein, and more and an iPhone app to help track health routines. Under Akash’s leadership, Care/of has raised over $46 million from top-tier venture capital firms including Goldman Sachs, Juxtapose, Goodwater, and Tusk Ventures. Prior to Care/of, Akash co-founded Hometeam, a technology-enabled in-home senior care provider that has raised over $40 million. He was named to Forbes's 30 under 30 list in 2017 and Inc.’s 30 under 30 list in 2016. Akash is also one of the four Founding Members of AARP’s Innovators Council. Akash is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
Billy Shore is the founder and executive chair of Share Our Strength, the parent organization for the No Kid Hungry campaign. Shore is also the chair of Community Wealth Partners, Share Our Strength’s for-profit consulting firm which provides strategic consulting to help leaders and communities solve social problems. In 2014, congressional leaders appointed Shore to the National Commission on Hunger, tasked with finding innovative ways to end hunger in America. Shore is the author of four books focused on social change and hosts a weekly podcast that brings together high-profile chefs and change-makers to talk about the central role food plays in social justice. Shore earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC. He has been an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and an advisor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Major General Antonio “Tony” Taguba serves as a Community Ambassador for AARP and is the second Philippine-born U.S. citizen to be promoted to the officer rank of “General” in the U.S. Army. He received numerous military awards, including the Army Distinguished Service Medal (2 awards), the Legion of Merit (4 awards), the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (6 awards), the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge. He retired in January 1, 2007 having served 34 years on active duty as a decorated officer with the rank of “Major General” and an advocate for breaking down racial and ethnic barriers in the military. After leaving the U.S. Army, General Taguba became the chairman of Pan-Pacific American Leaders and Mentors, a national, all-volunteer, non-profit organization committed to mentoring and professional development of military and civilian leaders of Asian American and Pacific Islander descent. He also chairs the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project.
Best-selling author Susan L. Taylor is a fourth-generation entrepreneur. At 24, she founded her own cosmetics company, which led to the beauty editor’s position at Essence, the publication she would go on to shape into a world-renowned brand with more than 8 million readers. It was that enterprising spirit wedded to a deep love for her community that led to the founding of the National CARES Mentoring Movement (originally known as Essence Cares) in 2006. A community mobilization movement, National CARES is the only organization dedicated to providing mentoring, healing and wellness services on a national scale for black children.
Antonio Tijerino is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, which focuses on education, workforce development and community service through connectivity, innovation, leadership and cultural pride. Under Tijerino’s leadership, HHF is recognized as a creative, agile, impact-focused organization that boasts a network of 150,000 vetted Latinos (15- to 35-year-olds) mobilized in the STEM fields, entrepreneurship, finance, media and other priority areas for America. Tijerino also serves as executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards broadcast on PBS stations. Prior to HHF, Tijerino worked at Fannie Mae Foundation, Nike, and Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe.
Isabel González Whitaker is the Principal Advisor, Executive Strategic Communications at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Prior to her role at St. Jude, she was a journalist and one of the highest-ranking Latina editors in New York. González Whitaker wrote numerous cover stories and produced features. Her work has appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Refinery29 among other internationally recognized outlets. González Whitaker is the co-author of Latin Chic: Entertaining with Style and Sass and executive producer of a documentary short, "Women in Music: Inspiring a Generation". González Whitaker was selected to be a Presidential Leadership Scholar, Scholar in Residence at Rhodes College, and 2020-2021 Senior Fellow at Encore.org, She is a founding member of the Alliance for Latinx Leadership and Policy. González Whitaker is a graduate of Tulane University.
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