I n t e r v i e w
Lance Robertson was appointed to serve as Assistant
Secretary for Aging and ACL’s Administrator on
August 11, 2017.
His vision for ACL focuses on five pillars: supporting
families and caregivers, protecting rights and
preventing abuse, connecting people to resources,
expanding employment opportunities and
strengthening the aging and disability networks.
His leadership in the fields of aging and disability
began in Oklahoma, where he served as the Director
of Aging Services. Prior to that, he co-founded the
Gerontology Institute at Oklahoma State University.
Gary Barg sat down with Secretary Robertson
to discuss his work with the Administration for
Community Living to support caregivers and their
senior loved ones.
Gary Barg: Congratulations on your second
anniversary as the Assistant Secretary for Aging
and the Administrator for the Administration
for Community Living. Can you tell us about the
work of these organizations, and the role that
you play in them?
Lance Robertson: Absolutely. It’s been a real
honor to be a part of the federal government’s
leadership around how we care for older adults
and people with disabilities. I am the Senateconfirmed
Assistant Secretary for Aging, but within
the Department of Health and Human Services,
I’m the Administrator for the Administration for
Community Living. We are one of the operating
divisions that has programmatic responsibility for
about three dozen programs that support, at the
community level, older adults and people with
disabilities. And we’re quite proud of the work that
Our mission has never been more critical in the
history of our country than now, when you look at
the nearly 77 million anticipated older Americans
over 60 and 57 million individuals with disabilities
and throw in in all the caregivers that are impacted.
You’re talking about 140 million or so people that
we’re honored at ACL to represent.
Gary Barg: Speaking of the ACL, just recently
you hosted the first meetings of the RAISE
(Recognize, Assist, Include, Suppor t, and Engage)
Family Caregivers Act and the Suppor ting
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act councils.
What can you repor t?
Lance Robertson: ACL recently had a fabulous
meeting of both councils. And we took some time
just really appreciating and recognizing the critical
role that caregivers play in supporting America’s
long-term services system, and how a core part of
our mission at ACL is to enable people to stay in
the community. The Grandparents council is near
and dear to my heart, having been raised by my
grandparents. I’m excited about the work that that
group’s going to do to better support grandparents.
And even beyond just grandparents, it’s all relatives
who are raising children. For both councils, we were
able to accelerate towards creating an action plan
that makes sense for this country.