William D. Novelli

CEO
AARP

Bill Novelli is CEO of AARP, a membership organization of 40 million people age 50 and older, half of whom remain actively employed. AARP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all as we age.

Prior to joining AARP, Mr. Novelli was President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, whose mandate is to change public policies and the social environment, limit tobacco companies’ marketing and sales practices to children and serve as a counterforce to the tobacco industry and its special interests. He now serves as chairman of the board.

Previously, he was Executive Vice President of CARE, the world’s largest private relief and development organization.  He was responsible for all operations in the U.S. and abroad. CARE helps impoverished people in Africa, Asia and Latin America through programs in health, agriculture, environmental protection and small business support. CARE also provides emergency relief to people in need.

Earlier, Mr. Novelli co-founded and was President of Porter Novelli, now one of the world’s largest public relations agencies and part of the Omnicom Group, an international marketing communications corporation. He directed numerous corporate accounts as well as the management and development of the firm. Porter Novelli was founded to apply marketing to social and health issues, and grew into an international marketing/public relations agency with corporate, not-for-profit and government clients. He retired from the firm in 1990 to pursue a second career in public service. He was named one of the 100 most influential public relations professionals of the 20th century by the industry’s leading publication.

Mr. Novelli is a recognized leader in social marketing and social change, and has managed programs in cancer control, diet and nutrition, cardiovascular health, reproductive health, infant survival, pay increases for educators, charitable giving and other programs in the U.S. and the developing world.
He began his career at Unilever, a worldwide-packaged goods marketing company, moved to a major ad agency, and then served as Director of Advertising and Creative Services for the Peace Corps. In this role, Mr. Novelli helped direct recruitment efforts for the Peace Corps, VISTA, and social involvement programs for older Americans.

He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, and pursued doctoral studies at New York University. He taught marketing management for 10 years in the University of Maryland’s M.B.A. program and also taught health communications there. He has lectured at many other institutions. He has written numerous articles and chapters on marketing management, marketing communications, and social marketing in journals, periodicals and textbooks.

His book, 50+: Give Meaning and Purpose to the Best Time of Your Life, was updated in 2008.

Mr. Novelli serves on a number of boards and advisory committees. He and his wife, Fran, reside in Bethesda, Maryland. They have three adult children and five grandchildren.