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Debra Whitman

Executive Vice President, Policy for the AARP

Debra Whitman was recently named the Executive Vice President, Policy for the AARP. Whitman stepped down as Staff Director for the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging to assume her new role on April 16th.  In her role as staff director, she has worked to improve the nation’s nursing homes, lower the cost of health care and increase retirement security for all Americans.

In addition to her time in the Senate, Whitman has also served as Specialist in the Economics of Aging at the Congressional Research Service where she also directed CRS's Aging Initiative. In this capacity she provided members of Congress and their staff with research and advice regarding the economic impacts of current policies affecting older Americans as well as the distributional and intergenerational effects of legislative proposals.

 “Debra has devoted her career to advocating for aging-related issues,” said NASI founding board member Bill Arnone. “AARP has gained a genuine leader who has a deep understanding of the issues, the political experience to get things done, and the passion to succeed. Deb will surely accomplish great things in her new role.”

Whitman’s government experience extends to her work at the Social Security Administration where she conducted research on savings and retirement, helped to establish the Retirement Research Consortium and served as the founding editor of the Perspectives section of the Social Security Bulletin.  She has also served for two years as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where she worked on health policy for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. 

A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2006, Whitman served on the Project Advisory Committee of NASI’s Improving Lives of Vulnerable Americans through Social Security project. She holds a Masters and a Doctorate in economics from Syracuse University.