Helena, Mont., June 1, 2018 – After a 5-month intensive search, AARP Montana is pleased to announce the selection of Mike Batista as its new associate state director of advocacy and outreach.
In this role, Batista will serve as the advocacy lead for AARP in Montana with direct responsibility for federal, regional and state advocacy, government relations and policy issues. Additionally, Batista will work on outreach initiatives designed to enhance awareness and community relationships, while identifying and engaging volunteers in grassroots activities.
Batista, a native Montanan, was appointed director of the Department of Corrections by Gov. Steve Bullock in 2012. Prior to that, he was the administrator for the Division of Criminal Investigation in the Montana Department of Justice for 20 years where he introduced initiatives, including the Children’s Justice Center, to improve Montana’s response to crimes against children.
Prior to his service with the state of Montana, he was an intelligence manager for the Drug Enforcement Administration from 1987 to 1994, working in Texas and Nevada.
Batista also introduced scenario-based training at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy and was also the first Montanan invited to serve as a board member of the National Children’s Alliance. Batista previously worked in intelligence research for the U.S. Department of Justice and began his 35-year career in law enforcement as an investigator for the Montana attorney general's office. Most recently, Batista served as the Executive Director for the Friendship Center in Helena.
Looking ahead to his first legislative session with AARP, Batista expects to be working on health care, caregiving, consumer protection and utility issues. He will continue with AARP Montana’s legislative efforts from the last several sessions to improve access to home and community based services for older adults in Montana. Batista will also be working to implement the Montana Caregiver Act.
“Mike brings to the position an exceptional combination of energy and proven leadership, said Tim Summers, AARP Montana State Director. “We are very excited to have him join our team and take on the role of the associate state director of advocacy and outreach. Mike’s relationship-building skills, strategic planning and policy analysis have prepared him well to assume this important leadership position.”
“Everything I have engaged in so far has been driven by my keen interest in making a difference in people’s lives,” said Batista. “I welcome the opportunity to join the AARP team and continue to use my skills and experience to further the goals of the organization and the people served.”
Batista graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor's degree in Criminology. Batista is replacing Claudia Clifford, who retired from AARP in March of 2018.
About AARP Montana:
For over 40 years, AARP has been working right here in big sky country to improve the lives of the 50 plus. As a non-profit organization, AARP Montana advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. By fighting on issues that matter most to Montana families and providing trusted information, we’re helping Montanans live life to the fullest. Today, over 148,000 strong, AARP Montana is the largest membership organization in the state. As a nonpartisan organization, AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political action committees, campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/MT or follow @AARPMontana on social media.