Areas of Expertise
- Financial exploitation
- Consumer law
- Consumer protection
- Elder law
- Policy analysis
Jilenne Gunther, JD, MSW, is the national director of AARP’s BankSafe Initiative, a game-changing intervention platform focused on financial-exploitation prevention for frontline employees at banks, credit unions, investment firms, retailers and other providers of financial products and services.
Prior to joining AARP, Gunther held a number of government and non-profit positions where she oversaw and directed policy and legal programs on behalf of victims of crime, particularly older adults and other vulnerable groups. She developed one of the nation’s first bank-account features to help family and caregivers prevent exploitation. Gunther has authored two books on consumer rights and elder law and a novel analysis on the economic cost of financial exploitation. While a Borchard Fellow with the Borchard Center on Law & Aging, she conducted a groundbreaking study on the legal needs of older Americans. Her work has been replicated in over forty states, widely quoted in national media and cited in Senate hearings, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Advisories, and U.S. Government Accountability Office reports.
Gunther holds a juris doctorate from the University of Utah, a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.
Honors and Awards:
Under her guidance, AARP’s BankSafe Initiative has trained one in ten financial industry frontline employees who have saved older adults more than $100 million from exploitation. Gunther has been recognized and honored with over 15 awards for her distinct contributions, including the Association Women Technology Champions (AWTC) Social Impact Award and the Governor’s Woman of the Year Award.
- Responding to the Pandemic-Era Uptick in Financial Exploitation
- AARP BankSafe: The Impact of Training Financial Professionals to Prevent Financial Exploitation
- The Thief Who Knows You: The Cost of Elder Exploitation Examined
- The Business Case: Why Financial Institutions Should Fight Exploitation and Protect Savings
Read Jilenne Gunther's blog posts.