Lisa Marsh Ryerson
President, AARP Foundation
Our Presenter Spotlight Series highlights the dozens of leaders in the movement to build health equity who will present their ideas at the 2018 National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health in New Orleans, LA. Register now to reserve your place at the Summit!
Lisa Marsh Ryerson is president of AARP Foundation, AARP’s affiliated charity. At the helm since the fall of 2013, she sets the Foundation’s strategic direction and leads its social impact initiatives. Ms. Ryerson is also Vice-Chair of The Root Cause Coalition’s Board of Trustees. She will moderate a C-Suite Roundtable featuring an all-female panel of leaders at the 2018 National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health.
Under Ms. Ryerson’s leadership, the Foundation has embarked on relationships with high-profile organizations to create and advance effective solutions to help vulnerable, older adults build economic opportunity and increase social connectedness. The Foundation’s newest collaborative effort, Connect2Affect, brings together aging, academic, volunteer and health care organizations to help end isolation and build the social connections older adults need to thrive.
Ms. Ryerson joined AARP Foundation after 18 years as the president and CEO of Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. Her many accomplishments there included increasing enrollment by 45 percent—thus revitalizing the economy of the surrounding community—and launching an endowed Center for Business and Entrepreneurship.
Reflecting her expertise in higher education, Ms. Ryerson has built new links between AARP Foundation and community colleges to increase employment opportunities for older adults. During her first year at the Foundation, she helped procure a $3 million federal grant from the Social Innovation Fund to expand the Back to Work 50+ retraining program for the long-term unemployed. Other achievements include the release of a groundbreaking report on the state of housing for America’s older adults and implementing an “innovation pipeline” to generate, test and analyze new ideas to help low-income seniors.
Throughout her career, Ms. Ryerson has served on the boards of numerous higher education and nonprofit organizations, including the Council of Independent Colleges, Southern New Hampshire University, the Congressional Hunger Center, and L.A. Kitchen, of which AARP Foundation is a founding partner.
Ms. Ryerson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wells College and a Master of Science from the State University of New York College at Cortland. Lauded for her leadership, she has received numerous awards and honors including an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the State University of New York at Albany for having “met and exceeded each of John Quincy Adams’ standards for leadership.”