Harroll “Hop” Backus, executive vice president of SNG States & Communities, oversees multiple AARP departments and offices. They include a field structure of seven regions, 53 state offices, Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) and the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA).
He has more than 35 years of experience in strategic executive management, community mobilization and lobbying, and human services delivery. Following graduation from the University of Oklahoma, he embarked on a 20-year career with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). He held several key leadership roles while at DHS — from state director of Volunteer Services to director of the State Unit on Aging to deputy director for the Aging Services Division to director of Community Services for the MRDD population. He was a founding member of the Oklahoma Center on Aging at the Oklahoma University School of Medicine and was a primary architect of Oklahoma's Advantage waiver program that provides home-based community services.
He joined AARP in 1995, first as state legislative representative with the Southwest Regional Office, then as manager of Advocacy and State & Community Operations in the West Regional Office. He served on the national team that created the plan for opening 53 field offices. After serving as Midwest regional director, he became director of State Operations, where he launched new departments, systems and processes to support AARP's work in the field. He has received a Community Achievement and National Leadership Institute award, the AARP Lyn Bodiford Advocacy award, and has served as an adjunct professor of gerontology and codeveloper of intergenerational programs for inner-city youth. He has served as a consultant to myriad community agency boards and councils.