Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fiesta Named ARA Executive Director

For Immediate Release
November 20, 2013
Contact: David Blank – 202/637-5275 or 

Richard Fiesta Named Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans

Washington, DC – Richard J. Fiesta has been named the Alliance for Retired Americans’ new Executive Director, succeeding Edward F. Coyle, who has managed and grown the four million member grassroots advocacy organization since its 2001 founding.  The Alliance’s Executive Board voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Fiesta, effective December 1, 2013.

Mr. Fiesta, the Director of the Department of Government and Political Affairs for the Alliance since 2001, pledged that the organization will aggressively educate retirees, the public, and lawmakers on ways to preserve and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, make prescription drugs affordable for future generations and ensure that all retirees can expect a dignified retirement after a lifetime of work.

“Ed Coyle launched the Alliance for Retired Americans and built it into a national voice for seniors,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “It is gratifying to see Ed enjoy his own retirement after improving the retirement circumstances of so many others. I know that Rich will continue the Alliance for Retired Americans’ tradition of standing up for seniors.”

“I would not retire if I didn't believe that the Alliance is in good hands,” said Mr. Coyle. “Rich Fiesta has made a career of fighting for social and economic justice for retirees and the middle class. He believes deeply in the power of grassroots organizing and collective action.  He will be a great Executive Director.”

“I am honored to become the Alliance Executive Director, given our proven track record of advocacy and action,” said Fiesta. “Older Americans face many challenges. I look forward to building on our work to guarantee that the needs of retirees remain at the forefront of the nation’s agenda.”

“Rich Fiesta knows what action and legislation is crucial for retirees, and he knows the intricacies of the Social Security and Medicare programs,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “There is no one I would rather have leading retirees, community activists, and staff.”

Prior to 2001, Mr. Fiesta, a native of Connellsville, Pennsylvania, served in the Clinton Administration in congressional and public affairs positions at the Departments of Labor and the Interior. He worked in Congress as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Labor Standards and in senior positions in the offices of Senators Harris Wofford (D-PA) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). He practiced law concentrating on labor and retirement issues.  He will also chair the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations for 2013-2014. He received his bachelors, masters, and law degrees from Georgetown University and studied in the legal history program at the University of Virginia. 

“I look forward to working with Rich as we head into the critical election season of 2014,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Retirees feel safe knowing that Rich will be channeling the energy of the Alliance’s four million members as they act to preserve and protect seniors’ earned benefits.”

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