Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Gerontology

Fernando Torres-Gil is currently the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles. He also serves as Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy, and is the Director of the 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 80 articles and book chapters. 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.

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 older 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); Special Assistant to then-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 served as a member of the Harbor Commission (1997-2001) and the Taxi Commission (1996-1997) for the city of Los Angeles. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Elderhostel, The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the Families USA Foundation, the Los Angeles Chinatown Service Center, the Southern California Leadership Network and The California Endowment.

Dr. Torres-Gil was born and raised in Salinas, California, and is the son of migrant farm workers. He earned his A.A. in Political Science (1968), at Hartnell Community College in Salinas, a 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 the Heller Graduate School in Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

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