Agent for Social Change to Lead Nation's Largest Membership Organization
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2009 — The nation's largest membership organization, AARP, will appoint A. Barry Rand, known for being a catalyst for social change and inclusion in the workplace, to become CEO in early April succeeding Bill Novelli, who has held the position for eight years. Rand will be the first African-American to lead the organization.
Rand, who serves as the volunteer Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Howard University, is most recognized for his 30 year career at Xerox, where he rose from a sales representative to Executive Vice President for Worldwide Operations. More importantly, Rand's tenure at Xerox is highlighted by his work to ensure minorities and women had every opportunity for advancement at the company. Under Rand's leadership, Xerox became the most diverse company in the Fortune 500. Further, when Rand left Xerox in 1999 to become Chairman and CEO of Avis, he became one of the first African-Americans to achieve such a position in the Fortune 500.
"Barry Rand's record of achievement and continued drive for inclusion fits perfectly with our mission at AARP," said Bonnie Cramer, AARP Board Chair. "For more than 50 years AARP has fought for those who could not fight, we have given a voice to those who needed help, but could not be heard. Over his career so has Barry and we are extremely excited to have him join us; we know his passion and leadership will result in continued success for AARP."
At Howard University, Rand created the Helen Matthews Rand Scholarship. Named for his mother, a school teacher and principal, the scholarship provides full tuition and a laptop to exceptional students pursuing a degree in teacher education. Recipients must make a 2-year commitment to teaching in an inner-city or urban environment directly upon completing their degrees.
"AARP and I have long shared the belief that health care and long-term financial security should be the goals of this nation -- goals we all have an obligation to help achieve: from government to corporate America to the individual," said Rand. "From ensuring inclusion in the workplace to ensuring equal opportunities for higher education, I have always embraced seemingly insurmountable challenges. AARP, with its mission, regularly does the same and I'm excited to be leading that effort now."