AUSTIN, Texas — Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, director of the Center for Policy Research on Aging at the University of California at Los Angeles, will present a lecture on Oct. 22 at UT Austin titled “Politics and Policies in an Aging Society.”
Torres-Gil’s talk, scheduled from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Bass Lecture Hall, is being co-sponsored by the Health Care Management Advisory Council and UT’s new interdisciplinary Gerontology Program.
Torres-Gil was assistant secretary for aging in the Department of Health and Human Services in the first Clinton administration. He worked with the HHS secretary in overseeing aging policy within the department and throughout the federal government, and he also managed the Administration on Aging. While serving as assistant secretary, he was on leave from his position as professor of social welfare at UCLA. Previously, he was a professor of gerontology and public administration at the University of Southern California.
Torres-Gil is a national expert on public policy issues concerning health and long-term care, gerontology, ethnicity, human services, rehabilitation and disability. He also has served in a variety of governmental positions. At the national level, he was staff director for the House of Representatives Select Committee on Aging (1985-87), where he administered the legislative and oversight activities of the largest committee in the U.S. Congress. He served as special assistant to the former secretary of Health and Human Services, Patricia Roberts Harris, and played an instrumental role in the planning of the 1981 White House Conference on Aging. From 1978 to 1979, he was a White House Fellow and special assistant to Joseph Califano, then-secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Torres-Gil was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Federal Council on Aging (1978) and served as a board member of the National Council of La Raza (197801982). More recently, he served as a member of the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Modernization Task Force (1990-1992).
Torres-Gil has been a policy advisor to elected officials at the federal, state and local levels, and he is a national spokesperson on Hispanic issues. He was a delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention and the deputy national issues director for health, human services and veterans affairs in the Dukakis/Bentsen presidential campaign. He was a policy advisor in the Clinton/Gore California campaign and served on the Presidential Transition Team as a member of the Health and Human Services/ Veterans Administration/Housing and Urban Development cluster.
Torres-Gil was born and raised in Salinas, Calif., and is the son of migrant farm workers. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science (1970), graduating with honors from San Jose State University, a master’s degree in social work (1972) and a doctorate in social policy, planning and research (1976) from Brandeis University.