Our Leadership

Executive Director Tony Sarmiento

Tony Sarmiento has served as executive director of Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI) since 2000. He has brought a wide range of experience and expertise to advocate for national policy and programs that support low-income older adults. He also serves on boards and committees of several leading national organizations focused on aging.

Prior to SSAI, Tony worked for more than 20 years with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he held several senior positions including assistant director of its education department and director of Worker-Centered Learning for the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute. He also helped organize the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance in 1992.

Before the AFL-CIO, Tony was director of a neighborhood youth organization and then held positions in several District of Columbia government agencies, including the Mayor’s Office of Youth Opportunity Services and the Department of Employment Services, where he was assistant to the director of programs funded by the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).

He is currently a board member of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, chair-elect of the Gerontological Society of America’s Public Policy Committee, and chair of the American Library Association’s Committee on Library Service to An Aging Population. He is also a board member of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy, and board secretary of the American Youth Policy Forum. In the past he has served on the boards of the American Society on Aging, SeniorNet, the National Institute for Literacy (as a presidential appointee), Literacy Volunteers of America, the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

In 2007 Tony was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance. In 2001 he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Council on Education GED Testing Service and the Paul Robeson Award from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 1199C.

He holds a B.A. in American Studies from American University in Washington, D.C. and has studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. after graduating from the D.C. public schools.

SSAI Board of Directors

The following individuals serve on the Senior Service America, Inc. board of directors in addition to Executive Director Tony Sarmiento.

Judy Alamprese

Director of Technical Assistance and Principal Associate

Abt Associates Inc., Bethesda, Md.

Ms. Alamprese has directed research, evaluation, policy, technical assistance, and demonstration projects in adult education and workforce development for over 30 years. She completed her course requirements for the Ph.D. and received her M.A. in sociology from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and her B.A. in sociology from Emmanuel College.

Stuart Appelbaum


Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, New York, N.Y.

Mr. Appelbaum was first elected president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in 1998. He is also an international vice president and member of the executive board of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Appelbaum is a summa cum laude graduate of Brandeis University, where he was named a Louis Dembitz Brandeis Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was graduated with honors from Harvard Law School.

Donna Christian

Senior Fellow

Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Christian joined the staff of the Center for Applied Linguistics in 1974 and served as president from 1994 TO 2010. She is Currently A Senior Fellow at CAL. Her work has focused on the role of language in education, including issues of second language learning and dialect diversity, and has been involved in research, professional development, and technical assistance related to two-way bilingual immersion. Dr. Christian holds a B.S. in mathematics from St. Lawrence University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in applied linguistics and sociolinguistics from Georgetown University.

Barbara Easterling


Alliance for Retired Americans, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Easterling was elected president of the Alliance for Retired Americans in 2009 after holding several leadership positions in the labor movement. She was the first woman elected as secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America and the first woman to serve as secretary-treasurer of the national AFL-CIO. Easterling also continues to work on behalf of several international labor and national charitable organizations.

Traci L. McClellan-Sorell


McClellan-Sorell Consulting, Inc., Olathe, K.S.

Ms. McClellan-Sorell has worked in aging, advocacy, health, federal Indian law and non-profit management and is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She previously served as the executive director of the National Indian Council on Aging and as the legislative director of the National Indian Health Board, a non-profit health advocacy organization working on behalf of all federally recognized tribes. She holds a B.A. in Native American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, M.A. in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona, and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Langley Spurlock

Artist and Consultant

Washington, D.C.

Dr. Spurlock retired after a 35-year career in science that included serving as a professor of chemistry at Brown University and Temple University, authoring 39 publications, and being awarded three U.S. patents. He has served on the board of directors and as corporate secretary of the Council of Environmental Professionals, and he has also chaired SeniorNet’s board. Dr. Spurlock holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Wayne State University and has exhibited his work as an artist in several museums and commercial galleries.