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AARP AARP States New York Community

James O’Neal of Harlem Appointed as AARP New York State President

O’Neal Will Lead Volunteer Executive Council Advising AARP’s New York State Office

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AARP New York has appointed aging expert and dedicated community health care advocate James C. O’Neal as its next State President. In this position, O’Neal will chair the AARP New York Executive Council, a select leadership group of AARP New York members with an outstanding record of service and a commitment to the goals of the Association. As State President, O’Neal will help shape AARP New York’s strategic priorities, build community partnerships with key decision makers and serve as volunteer spokesperson for the organization.

“We’re excited to welcome James and his wealth of expertise to AARP’s fight for New Yorkers 50-plus,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “James brings a comprehensive knowledge of aging and health care that will make AARP New York even stronger as we navigate the ongoing pandemic and into the future.”

O’Neal, an independent consultant on older adult issues, has spent over a decade in the community health care industry, first with Oxford Health Plans, followed by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Beth Abraham's CenterLight Health Care, where he held the position of Director of Community Outreach until his retirement in January 2015.

“AARP’s incredible strength comes from its members and volunteers, and I’m so proud to help lead this dedicated group,” O’Neal said. “I look forward to continuing the important work of making New York State a healthier, more livable and more affordable place to live and age.”

O’Neal currently serves as a Board Member of the State Society on Aging of New York, Neighborhood SHOPP (senior centers and services) and the Washington Heights/Inwood Interagency Council on Aging, and is President of the Bronx Interagency Council on Aging (BRICA).

His past appointments include advisory and leadership roles with the Adult Immunization Coalition of the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene of New York City and the U.S. Department of Housing and Development-sponsored “Healthy Homes, Healthy Seniors” Community Study. In 2016, O’Neal was appointed a Member of the governor’s Advisory Committee for the Aging, and since 2018, he has served as a United Nations Representative for the International Federation on Ageing.

O’Neal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin & Marshall College and a Master of Arts from New York University. He resides in Harlem.

O’Neal succeeds Leo Asen, who will complete his maximum term of six years as AARP State President at the conclusion of 2021.

AARP New York volunteers advocate on behalf of the 50-plus and are supported by the Executive Council and AARP staff. Those interested in volunteering may visit for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jordan McNerney, jmcnerney [at] aarp [dot] org

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