Center for Policy Research in Aging

The demographic challenges of a nation growing older and living longer are forcing Americans to confront the roles of government and the private sector in serving older adults and their families. The doubling of the 65-and-over population over the next 30 years raises a host of important policy and political issues whose solutions will require a balanced, analytical and thoughtful approach. Established in 1997 as part of the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, the Center for Policy Research on Aging (CPRA) studies the major policy issues affecting our aging society including Social Security Medicare, long-term care, and the societal implications that accompany the aging of the baby boom generation and its parents. In recognition of the growing diversity of the elderly population, CPRA will focus special attention on policy issues as they affect Latino, African-American, Asian and other ethnic populations as well as comparative studies of International Aging. As a national, state and local resource center on aging policy, CPRA conducts research, fosters multidisciplinary collaboration among UCLA faculty, work closely with policy makers, service providers and community groups in meeting the challenges of an aging society. Our overall goal is to draw from multiple disciplines to assist policy makers, service providers, community groups and other members of the public and private sectors in meeting the challenges of an aging society.

CPRA Research Agenda
The Center for Policy Research on Aging has established a broad research agenda within the parameters of aging policy and the "politics of aging". The CPRA is currently developing research projects that will inform debate at all levels of government.

CPRA research interests include:

  • The politics of aging in the Latino community
  • The Future of Social Security and Medicare
  • Aging Policy in the state of California
  • Policy implications of Los Angeles' ethnically diverse elderly population
  • Needs Assessment for selected localities

In addition, CPRA is committed to aging policy education on the undergraduate levels. The Center gives students the opportunity to participate in a variety of research projects that foster the development of analytical, writing and organizational skills.

Latino Grant

The center received a grant from the University of California Policy Seminar. Our project "An Exploration of the Politics of Aging among the California Hispanic Population", examines the level of political participation among the Hispanic older persons and the extent to which senior citizen advocacy groups and elected officials are addressing issues and concerns of the Hispanic community. The purpose of this research is to assess whether or not the Hispanic elderly of California are and will continue to become a political force that will be able to shape public policy as an influential senior citizen political lobby.

Los Angeles Needs Assessment

The CPRA contributed to an assessment of Los Angeles's city-wide needs of the adult population and presented an action plan to the Mayor and the City Council. The CPRA's role has solidified a partnership between the City of Los Angeles and the CPRA. The CPRA will continue to involve UCLA faculty and students in serving the City of Los Angeles and older Angelinos.

New Developments and Announcements
Robert J. Myers maintains an active consulting practice around the world. Mr. Myers is a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and is acknowledged as a world-class expert on the Social Security program. He is considered, by many, to be one of the elder statesmen of the program.

The CPRA is proud to be the recipient of a generous endowment fund from Bob Myers. The CPRA has established the Rudy and Robert J. Myers Reading Room to honor his extraordinary achievements and to house his library collection. The new library and archive will offer an extensive collection of Bob Myers memorabilia and special awards along with journals and magazines over a 60-year history.

The Rudy & Robert J. Myers Reading Room is located at the School of Public Policy & Social Research at UCLA. (6264 Public Policy Building, 6th floor). For any questions regarding the reading room please call (310) 794-5908.

CPRA Staff

Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D. Director

Dr. Torres-Gil returned to UCLA in 1997 after serving as the first Assistant Secretary for Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is currently Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for SPPSR and a professor of Social Welfare and Policy Studies. His scholarly interests in the areas of public policy, aging, ethnicity, health and long-term care have translated into a variety of government positions at the local, state, and national levels.

Valentine Villa, Ph.D. Associate Director

Dr. Villa has an extensive record of research, teaching and community service in Los Angeles. A recognized expert in public policy, minority elderly populations and health, she has served as a consultant to both national and local aging organizations and to such events as the 1995 White House Conference on Aging.

Contact Information

Director: John F. Schnelle, Ph.D.
Associate Director: Cathy A. Alessi, M.D.
Assistant Director: Debra Saliba, M.D.
Assistant Professor: Sandra F. Simmons, Ph.D.
Address: Center for Policy Research on Aging
School of Public Policy and Social Research
University of California, Los Angeles
6266 Public Policy Building
Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
Phone: (310) 794-5908
FAX: (818) 774-3346
E-mail: or

Last Updated: March 3, 2006 © 2000 UCLA GeroNet