Fernando Torres-Gil, Co-Chair
Fernando Torres-Gil is Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy at UCLA, an Adjunct Professor of Gerontology at USC, and Director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging. He has served as Associate Dean and Acting Dean at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and as Chair of the Social Welfare Department. His research spans topics of health and long-term care, disability, entitlement reform, and the politics of aging. He earned his first presidential appointment in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Federal Council on Aging. He was selected as a White House Fellow and served under Joseph Califano, then Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), and continued as a Special Assistant to the subsequent Secretary of HEW, Patricia Harris. He was appointed (with Senate Confirmation) by President Bill Clinton as the first U.S. Assistant Secretary on Aging in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this position, Torres-Gil played a key role in promoting the importance of the issues of aging, long-term care and disability, community services for the elderly, and baby boomer preparation for retirement. He served under HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, managing the Administration on Aging and organizing the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, in addition to serving as a member of the President’s Welfare Reform Working Group. In 2010 he received his third presidential appointment (with Senate Confirmation) when President Barack Obama appointed him as Vice Chair of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that reports to the Congress and White House on federal matters related to disability policy. He also served as Staff Director of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging under Congressman Edward R. Roybal. At the state level, he was appointed by former Governor Gray Davis to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Veterans’ Homes and by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. He is also a board member of the AARP Foundation. Dr. Torres-Gil earned his A.A. in Political Science at Hartnell Community College, a B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University, and a M.S.W. and Ph.D. in Social Policy, Planning and Research from Brandeis University.