Emily Allen and the AARP Foundation: Tackling senior poverty and empowering vulnerable older adults

Emily Allen

Emily Allen, Senior Vice President of Programs for the AARP Foundation, joins the show. She talks about tackling senior poverty by sparking bold, innovative solutions that help vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness.


Show notes + discussion guide:

  1. Emily’s story and background
  2. Mission and purpose of AARP Foundation: tackling senior poverty by sparking bold, innovative solutions that help vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness.
  3. What are the key problems/challenges your organization is facing (things like isolationism, etc.)
  4. Day in the life for Emily – what does her job entail?
  5. Quick review of programs she oversees: Experience Corps, SCSEP, Tax-Aide (see links below)
  6. Deeper dive into Experience Corps (Disclosure: We raised $7,800 for that program last year and have committed 10K in 2021!)
  7. How has the pandemic affected your work?
  8. We all wish more people were philanthropically-oriented. How do we inspire more people to give back, get involved, and get more interested in solving problems?
  9. What are your big areas of focus for balance of 2021?
  10. How to find Emily, and where to learn more about the foundation and its programs…

AARP Foundation programs:



About Emily Allen:

Throughout her career, Ms. Allen’s primary passion has been on serving the needs of those most at risk in our communities. She has served in a number of capacities in the nonprofit, education and workforce development arenas, and has worked across the generations to ensure vulnerable and at-risk individuals have access to the resources and services they need to thrive. 

Ms. Allen began her career as a special education teacher and school administrator on Andros Island, Bahamas, and later accepted positions with AARP Foundation’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) as Project Director and Assistant National Director. She then served as Director, Workforce Programs, for AARP before being named Vice President, Income Security, for AARP Foundation in 2011. 

In 2016, Ms. Allen was named Senior Vice President, Programs, and now leads a team of Foundation innovators and social entrepreneurs to develop effective solutions that address the social determinants of health and help vulnerable, low-income older adults secure the essentials. In this role, she oversees AARP Foundation’s longstanding national programs like SCSEP, Tax-Aide and Experience Corps, as well as new innovations designed to increase economic opportunity and social connections that help prevent and reduce senior poverty. 

Ms. Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Westminster College and a master’s degree in human and organizational learning from The George Washington University.