NOW Supports Nancy Altman for Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the National Organization for Women (NOW) urged President Biden to select Nancy Altman as Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA). As the current President of Social Security Works and Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, her wealth of experience and expertise make her unequivocally the most qualified person in the country for this position.
“The best ‘man’ for the job and the best pick overall to head up the Social Security Administration is a woman, and that woman is Nancy Altman,” said National NOW President Christian F. Nunes. “It is crucial that we remind political leaders how impactful women are when put in positions of leadership. And as we continue to make big cultural shifts, we must recognize these positions of power have often been held by men, not because they are the best candidates, but because that has been the status quo.”
Ms. Altman is the author of four books on Social Security, served on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and taught courses on Social Security and private pensions at the Harvard Law School and American University’s Washington College of Law. She also worked with major organizations concerned with retirement security issues to develop consensus around strengthening Social Security and was instrumental in reversing a long-standing Democratic Party position of “preserving” Social Security to one that would expand Social Security.
NOW recognizes how important Social Security is for women who still face pay inequities and frequently leave the paid workforce to serve as caretakers for their families. Women are also most affected by Social Security because they have longer life expectancies. We need significant improvements to reduce high poverty levels among retired women and address the 72 million retiring ‘Baby Boomers’ – a substantial proportion of those without retirement savings or pensions.
“We want to shine a spotlight on qualified women who may be overlooked for top positions,” added former NOW president and National NOW Board Advisor Terry O’Neill. “We hope the Biden Administration will continue with their trajectory of hiring amazing women and select Nancy Altman, whom I know as the most knowledgeable and experienced person that can steer the Social Security Administration through a looming retirement income crisis.”
In 2014, when several less qualified men were under consideration to chair the Federal Reserve, NOW spoke out in support of Janet Yellen. She was at the time vice-chair of the Federal Reserve with more than 20 years of service at key financial institutions, and chair of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. Due in part to the organization’s strong support, Yellen was ultimately appointed by President Barack Obama. She made history as the first woman to chair the Fed and is now the first woman Secretary of the Treasury.
Nancy Altman understands what is at stake for women. She is the highest qualified person in the country to lead the Social Security Administration and NOW urges the Biden Administration to appoint her Commissioner of the SSA without delay.