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August 01, 2023 Luke Rackers 3.5 min read

Luke Rackers of Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) Announced as New Obama Foundation United States Leader


August 1, 2023

Contact: Luke Rackers, [email protected], 802-479-1953

Luke Rackers of Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) Announced as New Obama Foundation United States Leader

Barre, VT – Today, Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) announced that Luke Rackers is among the first cohort of 100 emerging changemakers selected to participate in the Obama Foundation’s Leaders USA program. The Obama Leaders program is a six-month virtual program that supports and connects emerging leaders in the United States, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe through a values-based leadership framework inspired by the ideals and legacy of President and Mrs. Obama. Chosen from a highly competitive pool of applications, Rackers was selected to join the program for their work in the aging services field and is ready to build their skills and expand their impact across public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

The inaugural cohort of United States “Obama Leaders” is composed of values-driven changemakers    from every corner of the country. Hailing from 37 states; Washington, D.C.; American Samoa; Guam; and five tribal nations, these Obama Leaders are united by their passion for building a stronger, more sustainable, and more inclusive world.

As the Director of Development and Communications at CVCOA, Rackers supports and develops opportunities for older adults to stay connected to the communities they know and love. Recognizing the urgent need for meaningful social connection in 2020, Rackers developed the Enhancing Social Engagement through Arts and Technology Program for older adults to engage in skills-based, social-centric, and practice-focused arts opportunities in their homes. This program is included in the engAGED Innovations Hub through The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults and received an Aging Innovations Award from USAging in 2022.

As a member of the American Society on Aging’s Ageism and Culture Advisory Council, Rackers works to combat ageism and reframe aging through the celebration of Ageism Awareness Day. Rackers is also a passionate advocate for LGBTQIA+ older adults and will be focusing on this topic as a graduate student in gerontology at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“We are excited to welcome these 100 changemakers from across the United States into the Obama Foundation family,” said Valerie Jarrett, CEO of the Obama Foundation. “Our newest Obama Leaders are already making a difference in their communities and are ready to take their work to the next level. They embody the values of President and Mrs. Obama, and their impactful work will create positive change in communities across the country."

The Leaders USA program offers participants a unique and comprehensive experience, including a values-driven leadership curriculum, action labs focused on strengthening democratic institutions and culture in the U.S., community groups for fostering constructive dialogue in a polarized environment, and one-on-one support to help tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. As part of the six-month program, Rackers will convene virtually each week with the United States Obama Leaders cohort for interactive sessions designed to help them drive change by honing their leadership skills, building deep relationships with their peers, and engaging with thought leaders and members of the Obama Foundation community. Rackers will also have an opportunity to engage with President Obama, participate in various virtual experiences and special events, including one-on-one conversations with experienced mentors in the Foundation's global network. 

To learn more about Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA), visit

To learn more about the program and the individuals who make up the inaugural cohort, visit


Photo: Luke Rackers with Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale in front of a portrait of Alexander Twilight at the Vermont Statehouse. Rackers and Sen. Hinsdale were both selected for the Obama Foundation Leaders USA program from Vermont. Credit: David Schutz.