Robert Espinoza is the Vice President of Policy at PHI, where he directs a national policy advocacy and research program focused on the direct care workforce. His July 2019 publication, Workforce Matters: The Direct Care Workforce and State-Based LTSS Social Insurance Programs, articulates how states can support direct care workers through state-based social insurance programs. In 2015, he was appointed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to its Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education, as well as by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to its Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence. He serves as a member of the board of directors for the American Society on Aging.
Prior to PHI, he was the Senior Director for Public Policy and Communications at SAGE, the country’s premier organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults. At SAGE, he established its national advocacy program—achieving historic wins and numerous distinctions—while authoring multiple seminal reports, such as Out and Visible, a report on the largest, most comprehensive study examining the experiences and attitudes of LGBT older people. In 2010, he cofounded the Diverse Elders Coalition, a historic, federal coalition focused on improving aging supports for communities of color and LGBT communities.
Espinoza is a nationally recognized expert in aging, caregiving, and long-term care workforce issues. For more than 20 years, he has spearheaded high-profile advocacy campaigns and written seminal reports on aging and long-term care, LGBT rights, racial justice, and immigration, among other topics. He has appeared in multiple media outlets, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the Washington Post—and his writing has been published in The Huffington Post, The Hill, and POLITICO, among others. Espinoza received his MPA, with honors, from New York University, and his BA in English and BS in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated summa cum laude. He is a 2013 graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Social Insurance in 2020.