As AARP’s chief public policy officer, Debra Whitman leads policy development, analysis, research, and global thought leadership to advance the interests of individuals 50-plus and their families. She oversees AARP’s Public Policy Institute, AARP Research, Office of Policy Development and Integration, Thought Leadership, and AARP International.An economist, Dr. Whitman is an authority on aging issues, with extensive experience in national policymaking, domestic and international research, and the political process. As staff director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, she worked to increase retirement security, lower the cost of health care, and improve our nation’s long term care system. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Whitman served as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Dr. Whitman holds master’s and doctorate degrees in economics from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in economics, math and Italian from Gonzaga University.