KEYNOTE: Dr Debra Whitman, AARP’s Chief Public Policy Officer

Debra Whitman is AARP's Chief Public Policy Officer, leading policy development, analysis and research, as well as global thought leadership supporting and advancing the interests of individuals 50+ and their families.

She oversees AARP's Public Policy Institute, Research Center, Office of Policy Integration, and AARP International.

Dr. Whitman is an authority on aging issues with extensive experience in national policymaking, domestic and international research and the political process.

An economist, she is a strategic thinker whose career has been dedicated to solving problems affecting economic and health security, and other issues related to population aging.

As Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, she worked across the aisle to increase retirement security, preserve a strong system of Social Security, lower the cost of health care, protect vulnerable seniors, safeguard consumers, make the pharmaceutical industry more transparent and improve our nation's nursing homes.

From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Whitman served as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Earlier in her career, she conducted research on savings and retirement for the Social Security Administration.

She has been quoted by or appeared in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, the Huffington Post, Washington Post, and Politico, among others.

Dr. Whitman holds a Masters and Doctorate in Economics from Syracuse University and Bachelors in Economics, Math and Italian from Gonzaga University.


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