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Fernando Torres-Gil    

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Public Policy and Social Research, University of California

He also serves as a Professor of Social Welfare and Policy Studies and is Director of the School's Center for Policy Research on Aging. Previously, he was a Professor of Gerontology and Public Administration at the University of Southern California and continues as an Adjunct Professor of Gerontology at USC.

Professor Torres-Gil is an expert in the fields of health and long-term care, the politics of aging, social policy, ethnicity, and disability. He is the author of four books and more than 70 articles and book chapters, including The New Aging: Politics and Change in America (1992). In recognition of his many academic accomplishments, he was elected a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (1985) and the National Academy of Public Administration (1995). He served as President of the American Society on Aging (1989-1992) and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. A recipient of many awards and honors, he is a winner of the National Council on Aging’s Ollie A. Randall Award bestowed for leadership on behalf of older persons.

His academic accomplishments parallel his extensive government and public policy experience. He served as the first-ever Assistant Secretary for Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As the Clinton Administration's chief advocate on aging, Torres-Gil played a key role in promoting the importance of aging, long-term care, and disability issues, in consolidating federal programs for elder persons, and in helping baby boomers redefine retirement in a post-pension era. He worked with HHS Secretary Donna Shalala in overseeing aging policy throughout the Federal government, managed the Administration on Aging and was responsible for organizing the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. He also served as a member of the President's Welfare Reform Working Group.

Previous governmental experience includes serving as Staff Director of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Aging (1985-1987), where he administered the legislative and oversight activities of the largest committee in the U.S. Congress; Special Assistant to Secretary of Health and Human Services Patricia Roberts Harris (1979-1980); and White House Fellow and Special Assistant to Joseph Califano, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1978-1979). President Carter appointed Dr. Torres-Gil to the Federal Council on Aging (1978).

At the local level, Dr. Torres-Gil was the Vice President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission (1989-1993), and currently is a member of the Harbor Commission that oversees the Port of Los Angeles. He is active in advising elected and appointed officials at the federal, state and local level on Hispanic politics, gerontology, welfare reform, long-term care, and disability. He was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to the Governors’ Blue Ribbon Task Force on Veterans’ Homes and is a board member of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Families USA Foundation, the Older Women's League, and the AARP Andrus Foundation.

Dr. Torres-Gil was born and raised in Salinas, California, and is the son of migrant farm workers. He earned his B.A. in Political Science (1970), graduating with honors from San Jose State University, an M.S.W. (1972) and a Ph.D. in Social Policy, Planning and Research (1976) from Brandeis University.

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