AARP is naming A. Barry Rand as its new chief executive today, replacing William Novelli.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Rand, who is currently the chairman of the board of trustees at Howard University, will take over for Novelli on April 6.

AARP will flex its political muscles this year as Democrats seek to craft healthcare reform.

UPDATE: USA Today has a more comprehensive profile of Rand, who will be the AARP's first African American chief executive.