Nov 24, 2020
AARP Wins 2020 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

WASHINGTON—AARP and four other organizations have won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced today. Baldrige is a presidential-level honor, recognizing exemplary U.S. organizations and businesses that have shown an unceasing drive for innovative solutions, visionary leadership and operational excellence. AARP is a 2020 award winner in the nonprofit category.

In its news release, the Commerce Department detailed AARP’s achievements: AARP “has doubled the reach of its work to improve lives for people over age 50 and their families, from 32 million people in 2015 to more than 60 million in 2019. Since 2017, AARP has invested $450,000 in start-up companies pursuing novel products and services through its Innovation Labs. It has also been recognized as a ‘Top Workplace’ by The Washington Post, and AARP The Magazine has been the most widely read publication in the nation for three years in a row according to market research firm Gfk MRI.”

“The Baldrige Award is only made possible by the dedication and hard work of our staff, volunteers, and Board, all of whom are committed to excellence in everything we do,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, who has led the organization since 2014 and became a Baldrige Executive Fellow in 2012. “Winning this award during the coronavirus pandemic is significant: our work has never been more important, so to be recognized for performance excellence at this crucial moment is more heartening still. The Baldrige Criteria have been invaluable as we’ve worked to secure actionable feedback that, in turn, has allowed AARP to excel at living up to its vital mission.”

Since 1987, the Baldrige Award has been the highest recognition for performance excellence in the nation. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige Award in cooperation with the private sector, where an independent panel of judges reviews the evaluations performed by the Baldrige Board of Examiners and recommends award recipients. The 2020 honorees are AARP, Elevations Credit Union of Boulder, Colo., GBMC HealthCare System of Towson, Md., MESA of Tulsa, Okla., and Wellstar Paulding Hospital of Hiram, Ga.  The five recipients were chosen from a field of 20 applicants.

“I congratulate these five U.S. organizations for committing themselves to performance standards that have demonstrable and independently verified positive effects on the American business community,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Applying the Baldrige Criteria yields practical value to an organization in cost savings, customer satisfaction and financial gain while also producing higher revenue, growth and efficiency for improved competitiveness and performance.”

AARP and other winners will showcase their best practices during the Baldrige Program’s 32nd annual Quest for Excellence® conference, which will be held virtually April 12-15, 2021.  The 2019, 2020 and 2021 Baldrige Awards will be presented at a live ceremony in the Washington, D.C., region in 2022.

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Media Contact: External Relations,, 202-434-2560, @AARPMedia