Bill Novelli


Bill Novelli is Executive Director and CEO of AARP, a membership organization of over 35 million people age 50 and older, half of whom remain actively employed. He joined AARP in January 2000 as Associate Executive Director, Public Affairs (Legislation and Public Policy, Public Policy Institute, Communications, Publications, Organizational Relations and International Activities).

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.

Previously, he was Executive Vice President of CARE, the world's largest private relief and development organization ($450 million budget, 11,000 employees, 40 developing countries plus fundraising and advocacy in the U.S.). 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. In 1999, 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 the international emergence of social marketing, and 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, 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 text books.

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 three grandchildren.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over. It provides information and resources; advocates on legislative, consumer, and legal issues; assists members to serve their communities; and offers a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for its members. These benefits include AARP Webplace at, Modern Maturity and My Generation magazines, and the monthly AARP Bulletin. Active in every U.S. state and territory, AARP celebrates the attitude that age is just a number, and life is what you make it.