Skip to main content

Reimagine Everything: Introducing New AARP Columnist Ryan Kawamoto

By February 23, 2024June 20th, 2024No Comments

Scott Tanaka

I am grateful to continue writing for the Pacific Citizen’s AARP column alongside my colleagues. I believe it’s important to share AARP’s resources and the work we are doing to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families.

This year, JR Fujita, senior state and community engagement specialist, AARP California, will stay on as a columnist. Special thank you to Craig Gima, communications director, AARP Hawaii, for contributing to our column last year. One article that was impactful to me was “Lessons From Hawaii for Keeping Elders Safe in a Disaster.” Craig wrote this in response to the devastating wildfires in Maui’s Lahaina community last August. Although we hope we’ll never need the tips and resources he shared, it’s always good to do what we can to be prepared.

I am excited to introduce my colleague, Ryan Kawamoto (pictured), who will be joining us as a new AARP columnist. Ryan is the regional program manager for Older Adults Technology Services from AARP. For those of you who are not familiar with OATS, it was created in 2021 to help older adults learn to use and leverage technology to transform their lives and their communities.


At OATS, Ryan helps to run Senior Planet From AARP programming. Senior Planet from AARP’s purpose is to enable older adults to come together and find ways to learn, work, create, exercise and thrive in today’s digital age. To learn more, visit or follow @SeniorPlanet on social media.

Prior to joining AARP, Ryan was the former executive director of Yu-Ai Kai Japanese American Community Senior Service of San Jose and is the former chair of the Aging Services Collaborative of Santa Clara County in California.

He is also the co-president of the Japantown Community Congress of San Jose, a board of directors member for the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, a member of the LeadingAge California’s Equity Cabinet and a community advisory board member of UCSF’s Collaborative Approach for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Research and Education.

Ryan has an undergraduate degree in political science and visual arts from the University of California, San Diego, and a master’s in public affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. He also wrote and published a 372-page graphic novel, and while working in the California State Legislature, he served on the JACL Sacramento chapter board.

I look forward to reading Ryan’s articles with the important work he is doing at AARP and in the Japanese American/greater Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Scott Tanaka is a member of the JACL Washington, D.C., chapter and is a policy, research and international affairs adviser at AARP.