The AARP tapped A. Barry Rand as its new chief executive, succeeding longtime CEO William Novelli.
“AARP’s resources are immense, but so are the goals that it seeks to achieve,” said Rand, 64, in a statement. “The fight will not be easy, but if I’ve learned one thing in my career, it’s that nothing worthwhile ever is.”
Rand, who currently serves as the volunteer chairman of Howard University’s board of trustees, spent 30 years at Xerox Corp. where he rose from a sales representative to executive vice president for worldwide operations. While at Xerox, he was instrumental in ensuring minorities and women had every opportunity for advancement at the company.
Under his leadership, Xerox became the most diverse company in the Fortune 500. When Rand left Xerox in 1999 to become chairman and CEO of Avis, he became one of the first African Americans to achieve such a position at a Fortune 500 firm.
At Howard University, Rand created the Helen Matthews Rand Endowed Scholarship. Named for his mother, a teacher and principal, the scholarship provides full tuition and a laptop to students pursuing a degree in teacher education. Recipients must make a two-year commitment to teaching in an inner-city or urban environment upon completing their degrees.
Rand will officially take over as CEO April 6.