A Thought Leadership Symposium

Georgetown Conference Center 3800 Reservoir Road, NW Washington, DC


















“There are few issues as important as retirement security.  This symposium couldn’t be more timely -- bringing together thought leaders to tackle the tough issues and bring forward effective solutions.”
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL)



















"Social Security is the bedrock of most Americans' retirement. This one-day conference will help to illuminate some of the challenges and reasonable solutions to ensure a robust future for this amazing program."
Ken Apfel, Former Commissioner, Social Security Administration


























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The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, in partnership with the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Drake University, are hosting a thought leadership symposium on the critical issue of Retirement Security.

Retirement security is one of the most pressing issues facing any generation: Boomers, Gens X & Y, Millennials and beyond. Congress, presidential hopefuls, and business, labor and policy leaders alike are wrestling with the critical need to ensure that all Americans have a secure and dignified retirement. Learn how policy, public attitudes and the media are driving the public debate.


Max Richtman, President & CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare




The panel will delve into the questions of how Social Security has become the lynchpin for retirement income for many; why the work place pension system has been in serious decline for decades; the challenge in saving for the “golden years”;  and how women and people of color are disproportionately disadvantaged under our existing retirement system. The opening plenary session will set the tone for the day-long symposium, where we will examine our greatest challenges, pose cutting-edge questions, and consider progressive, comprehensive solutions that put all Americans on a path to a secure and healthy retirement.

Moderated by:

Paul Solman, Business and Economics Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour


Dr. Karen Holden, Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Consumer Science - Faculty Affiliate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Demography and Health Aging, Institute on Aging
Larry D. Zimpleman, Chairman, Principal Financial Group
Dr. David Madland, Managing Director of the Economic Policy team and Director, American Worker Project, Center for American Progress
Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi, Institute Fellow, Director, Integrated Financial Coaching Project, Urban Institute



Income Inequality: Paving the Path to Retirement Insecurity

Jeff Cruz, Senior Analyst for Social Security and Income Security, Senate Budget Committee
Dr. Valerie Wilson, Director, Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy, Economic Policy Institute

Social Security: The Next 80 Years. A Robust Future?

Virginia P. Reno, Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy, Social Security Administration
Michael Lind, Director, Economic Growth Program, Co-founder, New America Foundation
Dr. Nils Hankansson, Sylvan C. Coleman Professor of Finance and Accounting, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley


State Retirement Initiatives: At the Forefront of Innovative Solutions

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Lt. Governor, Maryland and Founder, Georgetown Center for Retirement Initiatives
Jim Racheff, Chairman & CEO, DMS, Inc, and Chairman, Maryland Business
Steven Kreisberg, Director of Research and Collective Bargaining Services, AFSCME



Dr. Catherine J. Dodd, Ph.D., RN, NCPSSM Board Chair


Dean Edward Montgomery, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University


Keynote Speech

Lynn Woolsey, Former Congresswoman, California (introducing former Senator Tom Harkin)
Tom Harkin, Former U.S. Senator, Iowa




Even seniors who enter retirement feeling financially well-prepared can find their plans derailed by unexpected health care costs. This panel will explore the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, long term services and supports, health needs not covered by Medicare, and the growing and changing needs of an aging population and consider how to address those challenges to keep Medicare strong and continue to meet the needs of beneficiaries.


Senator Susan Collins (ME) - (Video), Senate Sponsor of the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act
Representative Chris Smith (NJ), House Sponsor of the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act

Moderated by:

Dr. Tricia Neuman, Senior Vice President, Kaiser Family Foundation; Director of the Foundation's Program on Medicare Policy and its Project on Medicare's Future


Dr. Judith Feder, Professor of Public Policy & former Dean, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Rosemary Gibson, author, Medicare Meltdown: How Wall Street and Washington are Ruining Medicare and How to Fix It
Hon. Valerie Arkoosh, MD, MPH Vice Chair, Montgomery County, PA Board of Commissioners; Senior Policy Advisor, National Physicians Alliance
Dr. Cara James, Director of the Office of Minority Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services



Five leading journalists discuss the intersection of policy and politics in media coverage of social insurance issues.

Moderated by:

Mark Miller, Reuters retirement columnist


Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review
Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post
Mary Agnes Carey, Partnerships Editor and Senior Correspondent at Kaiser Health News
Zach Carter, Huffington Post


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Thank you to Retirement Security in a Changing America sponsors:

The Lukens Company
Merkle Response Management Group
RR Donnelly
Intermedi@ Marketing Solutions
Burdick Consulting
Mitchell Kaplan  
The Data Center