Date: March 30th, 2015
The founder of the Alliance for Aging Research Dan Perry has announced his retirement with the organization. Perry founded the organization in 1986 and served as its president and CEO until 2014 when Sue Peschin, MHS, assumed the role.
During Perry’s tenure, the Alliance became a force in advancing the science of aging and health, advocating for public policies to promote aging research and higher quality of life for older Americans, and creating health education materials on conditions and topics affecting the senior population.
The Alliance celebrated his contributions with an event on Capitol Hill, the location of many of his career accomplishments, on March 19. In attendance were current and former colleagues with whom he worked both in government service and during his time at the Alliance.
Perry had this to say about his career with the Alliance.
“By the mid-1980s it was clear there needed to be a stronger voice for medical science to improve lives among America’s rapidly aging population,” Perry says. “It has been a gift to be able to help bring this organization forward and to know its best days and contributions still lie ahead.”
Perry’s encyclopedic knowledge of the issue of aging research along with his penchant for strategic coalition building served him well in bringing the importance of aging research to the forefront of the national consciousness.
Allan M. Fox, J.D., LLM, managing partner at FOXKISER and national chairman of the Alliance’s Board, had this to say, "Dan Perry's role has been transformative. He has been the essential personality who has made our nation realize that the field of aging research and the effective management of aging and its associated diseases and conditions are key for the success of our society.”
Perry’s career began as a journalist, during which time he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Following his journalism career, he moved on to staff positions on Capitol Hill, including serving 13 years as a special assistant to former senator and Democratic whip Alan Cranston (D-CA).
In the mid-1980s, in response to a growing awareness that the aging of the U.S. population would pose an unsustainable demand for health care resources, Perry was asked to create a nonprofit organization that would become the Alliance for Aging Research. Today, thanks to his leadership, the Alliance continues to work to achieve its mission of accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health.
Among the political leaders who first joined the Alliance’s Board of Directors was U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL). He was one of the many legislators on both sides of the aisle with whom Perry enjoyed a productive working relationship.
“Dan Perry is one of the greatest unsung visionaries of our time,” notes Grayson. “Generations to come will look back on us and know that there was at least one person among us who could see into the future and bring it closer: Dan Perry.”