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AARP Livable Communities Team

Working nationally and locally to foster livable places for people of all ages

The AARP Livable Communities team is part of the Programs division of AARP Community, State and National Affairs. We work with experts, communities and AARP state offices nationwide to educate local leaders, policy makers, planners and citizen activists about making neighborhoods, towns, counties and cities more livable for people of all ages. The AARP Livable Communities team works closely with members of the AARP Public Policy Institute. To contact AARP Livable Communities, email us at Follow us on Twitter @AARPLivable.

Members of the AARP Livable Communities team

Top row from left: Jean Setzfand, Danielle Arigoni and Mike Watson. Bottom row: Melissa Stanton, Bill Armbruster and Rebecca Delphia

Jean C. Setzfand, Senior Vice President

As the senior vice president of AARP Programs, Jean leads a team that produces interactive educational programming designed to address the health, wealth and personal enrichment concerns of consumers age 50 and older. Additionally, AARP Programs drives towns, counties and cities to be more livable for people of all ages through educational resources and engagement aimed at local leaders, policy makers, planners and citizen activists.

Jean comes to the AARP Livable Communities initiative after several years of leading AARP local engagement work in dozens of municipalities nationwide. In addition to her work at AARP, Jean serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Investor Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Seniors for the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

Prior to joining AARP in 2002, Jean worked as a strategic management consultant serving domestic and international financial services institutions. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. 

Danielle Arigoni, Director, AARP Livable Communities

For nearly two decades, Danielle has been a leader in national-level efforts to expand the investment in sustainability and livability. Prior to joining AARP, Danielle worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where, as director of the office of economic development, she worked to improve sustainability through strategic investments in community-based planning, high-performance buildings and resilient infrastructure.

Danielle was the staff lead for the HUD Climate Council, created by then-Secretary Julian Castro, and was the staff representative to President Barack Obama's White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Danielle helped co-lead HUD's $1 billion award to states and localities through the 2016 National Disaster Resilience Competition.

In addition, Danielle helped to coordinate federal investments and policies to support more integrated, community-driven local land use and decision-making. She has led several interagency efforts, including serving as co-chair for the Community Solutions Council community of practice, co-lead for the award-finalist Urban Waters Federal Partnership, and as a central figure in the tri-agency Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Danielle previously worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Smart Growth program, where she won awards and led efforts to better integrate affordable housing into the smart growth movement. She helped lead the publication of two early seminal publications on smart growth, Affordable Housing and Smart Growth: Making the Connection and Getting to Smart Growth: 100 Policies for Implementation.

Danielle holds a bachelor's degree in planning, public policy and management from the University of Oregon and a master's degree in regional planning from Cornell University. She has worked as a strategy team director for the urban planning office of the U.S. Agency for International Development and as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and town planner in Murang'a, Kenya.

Mike Watson, Senior Advisor

Mike comes to the AARP Livable Communities team having served as an advisor to Nancy LeaMond, AARP's Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, who is responsible for delivering an advocacy and education agenda on behalf of AARP's 38 million members. In that role, Mike provided strategic counsel and expertise on retirement policy, long-term care, family caregiving and livable communities. That work involved hosting events on Capitol Hill and serving as a core advisor on AARP's community agenda. Mike helped expand the organization's footprint on livability by leading a strategic partnership with GOVERNING magazine, working with a team to profile best practices through the books Where We Live: Communities for All Ages, and helping to launch a targeted outreach effort to reach mayors through the U.S. Conference of Mayors and other forums.

Before joining AARP, Mike worked at the Senior Citizens League, where he served as the organization's chief lobbyist. A North Carolina native, Mike holds a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in legal studies from Wingate University. He earned his master's in public policy (focused in social policy, with coursework in land use planning) from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.

An avid runner and cyclist, Mike is passionate about promoting the need for communities where people of all ages can be active outdoors and get around safely. 

Melissa Stanton, Senior Advisor/Editor

Melissa is the editor of (the award-winning website you’re on right now), the award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter and various AARP Livable Communities print resources and publications, including Where We Live Communities for All Ages — 100+ Inspiring Ideas from America's Community Leaders, the second installment of the AARP Where We Live book series.

She also speaks on behalf of AARP Livable Communities at conferences and meetings nationwide. Prior to joining AARP Melissa spent more than a decade at Time Inc., where she began as a reporter, became a senior editor at LIFE and People magazines, and served as the editor-in-chief of various books and special issues. Melissa’s freelance articles have been published by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Glamour and other media outlets. She's also the author of two books (one for kids, the other for moms). Since joining the Livable team in 2014, Melissa has become a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.

A native New Yorker, she is a graduate of Fordham University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in communications, and the City University of New York/Hunter College, from which she earned a master's degree in public health with concentrations in women's health and community health education.

Melissa has lived or worked in several walkable, transit-served communities (in New York City and the tri-state region as well as in Tokyo) and has been active in advocacy efforts related to transportation, land use, health and education. Based out of AARP in Washington, D.C., she lives with her family and assorted indoor and outdoor animals in a rural Maryland community where she's on the board of the local civic association.

Bill Armbruster, Senior Advisor

Bill manages the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, which is a program within AARP Livable Communities. He has been with AARP since 2000, joining as an associate state director for AARP New York. In that role he served the upstate and western region of the Empire State and was responsible for the development, implementation and assessment for community outreach programming. That body of work included livable and age-friendly communities initiatives, partner development and grassroots volunteer organizing for a 30-county region both near and far from his Rochester home base.

Since 2016 Bill has been traveing frequently and far to communities, conferences and meetings nationwide as a speaker and facilitator for the AARP Livable Communities initative. In addition to his work at AARP, Bill has extensive experience in corporate wellness programs, occupational rehabilitation and ergonomics, pain treatment and physical therapy.

Rebecca Delphia, Advisor

Rebecca joins the Livable Communities team from AARP Pennsylvania, where she served as the associate state director for community outreach. Rebecca led the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County's enrollment in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. She also coordinated walkability audits of the area's central business district and engaged voices of older adults in the development of a Complete Streets policy for Pittsburgh.

Prior to AARP, Rebecca held an appointment as the first-ever chief service officer in the Pittsburgh Mayor's Office. In that role, she developed and implemented high-impact volunteer-fueled initiatives that tackled pressing city needs with a focus on the revitalization of Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods. Through Rebecca's efforts, the Mayor's Office of Service & Civic Engagement repeatedly exceeded its impact targets by engaging volunteers to revitalize more than 600 city blocks, clean up over 35,000 pounds of litter and rehabilitate 75 homes of vulnerable residents.

Rebecca holds both a bachelor's degree and master's of social work degree from New York University's Silver School of Social Work, where she was a scholar in the Catherine B. Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship. Rebecca, her husband and their two sons are proud to call Pittsburgh their home.

Each issue of the award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter contains a mix of inspiring examples, community resources and information about livability efforts from places near and far. Subscribe today!