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Josefina G. Carbonell: 1950—: Head of U.S. Administration on Aging Biography

Founded Lhanc, Selected To Head The Aoa, Attended World Assembly On Aging

Josefina G. Carbonell: 1950—: Head of U.S. Administration on Aging.

The top U.S. official serving the elderly, Josefina G. Carbonell has become a national leader in innovative community services. When she accepted this position in 2001, she became the highest-ranking Hispanic-American appointee to the Department of Health and Human Services. Carbonell has earned respect from Republicans while working as CEO of the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers (LHANC) of Dade County, Florida, and as a national technical assistance team member of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which fostered health clinics and employment and housing programs for immigrants and refugees in Houston, Miami, and New Orleans. A federal appointment in 2001 made her the first local service provider to head the nation's Administration on Aging (AoA).

A native of Cuba, Carbonell emigrated from Havana to Miami, Florida in 1961. She attended Miami Dade Community College and studied public administration at Florida International University. With a Kellogg Fellowship in Health Management, she graduated from an executive program at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Carbonell gained firsthand knowledge of the multi-generational families she served from her parents and son, Alfredo Carbonell, a physician. She has personally experienced the challenges of caring for aging parents and two maternal aunts, one homebound with Alzheimer's disease. Carbonell commented on the difficulties of round-the-clock care in Today's Caregiver: "Until it strikes you personally, you really don't realize the tremendous impact and the challenges that lie ahead."

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