NCOA Hires Award-Winning Leader to Amplify the Real Story of Aging


Jean Van Ryzin

Senior Director, Communications


Arlington, VA – Today, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the nation’s oldest aging advocacy organization, announces that award-winning business and thought leader Anna Maria Chávez has been hired as Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for External Affairs.

For more than 65 years, NCOA has been a leader in working with community organizations across the country to offer older adults real-life solutions to navigate aging. As a key member of NCOA’s executive leadership team, Chávez will oversee NCOA’s policy and advocacy, marketing and communications, fund development and strategic partnership development, and community network.

“I am delighted to welcome Anna to this important national leadership position,” said James Firman, NCOA president and CEO. “I have admired Anna’s passion, creativity, and stewardship for years, and I know she will help NCOA increase our social impact as we strive to improve the lives of millions of older adults.”

Well-known nationally as an inspirational leader, Chávez worked for nearly a decade on aging issues in her home state of Arizona. While serving in Gov. Janet Napolitano’s administration as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, she launched the governor’s Aging 2020 initiative and created the Arizona Division of Aging and Adult Services. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Director of the Division of Aging and Community Services.

Most recently, Chávez served as national CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, where she led an historic customer-centric organizational redesign, partnering with a newly engaged national network to build a high-impact, data-driven, multi-year strategy. She also oversaw an innovative brand refresh with new partners that put the importance of investing in girls at the center of our national dialogue.

“My career has been about championing human rights and inspiring people to live extraordinary lives, and I’m excited that NCOA staff share that passion,” said Chávez. “There are many challenges to aging well, but there are also many opportunities to help people navigate this new phase of life with confidence. My goal is how to bring the resources and talents around the table to make life better and more just, sustainable, and rewarding for people of all ages.”

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. NCOA empowers individuals with trusted solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and protects and strengthens federal programs that people depend on as they age. Working with a nationwide network of partners and directly with individuals, NCOA’s goal is to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at and @NCOAging.