Economist Jack Carlson will soon head the country's largest senior citizens' organization, 1 1/2 years after he left as chief executive officer of the country's largest trade association, the National Association of Realtors. In October, Carlson will succeed Cyril F. Brickfield as executive director of the 26 million-member American Association of Retired Persons in Washington.

Carlson is currently a member of AARP, but that was his only connection with the association until four months ago. It was then that Heidrick and Struggles Inc., an executive search firm working for AARP, named Carlson a likely candidate for Brickfield's position.

"We selected him from over 80 prospects," said Brickfield. "We wanted someone who has strong administrative and management experience, someone who knows the Washington scene, and someone familiar with legislative procedures.

"It is comforting to know that Carlson had the experience and gained the confidence of running an organization similar to our own," said Brickfield. The NAR is a national organization with about 750,000 members that is active in the political arena.

AARP has "an influential voice on the Hill," said Brickfield. "We try to be responsible. We work the halls of Congress, not storm the steps of the Capitol."

While he was vice president and chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1976 until 1979, Carlson also served on President Carter's Commission on Employment and Unemployment Statistics. Earlier, he was assistant secretary of the interior, assistant director and chief economist at the Office of Management and Budget, and senior staff economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Johnson administration.

While Carlson admits that his knowledge of senior citizens' issues does not match that of his predecessor, who has been with AARP for the past 20 years, he has had some experience in the field. "At OMB, I was involved with the Social Security amendments and food stamp program. At the Department of Interior, I became aware of problems facing the elderly during the energy shortage of the early '70s. And at NAR, I dealt with the problems of housing for older Americans," Carlson said.

"There are many very experienced people in the field of aging at AARP who can help Carlson," said Brickfield. "In the end, he was the best qualified candidate to build on what we have done thus far."

AARP's leaders and members have built an organization that represents more than one-third of Americans over the age of 50. Brickfield said the association's greatest past achievements are the elimination of mandatory retirement, state authorization of generic drugs, and the loosening of pension laws.

"Now, it is incumbent upon AARP to be in the vanguard with the baby boomers coming of age. There are 77 million baby boomers, that is one-third of our present population. We must be prepared to address their unique needs and problems," said Brickfield. The problems he immediately points to are long-term care versus catastrophic care and support to care-givers, usually women who work and take care of an elderly relative at home.

Carlson, at age 54, has time to address these issues. He will become an AARP staff member on Sept. 8, and will work with Brickfield until Oct. 17, when Brickfield retires and Carlson assumes the title of executive director.

"I have always tried to do something relevent," said Carlson. "This is a rare opportunity to be helpful and worthwhile."

ASSOCIATIONS The Life Underwriter Training Council, a nonprofit training organization established by the life insurance industry, elected Thomas J. Wolff chairman on the board; Charles E. Lavezzoli vice chairman of the board; and Robert B. Hughes secretary.

Thomas H. McCloud joined the National League of Cities as director of the NLC office of membership services.

Telocator Network of America, a national association for paging and cellular communications industries, named Maryann Kilduff director of government relations.

Steve Lovett was named vice president of the International Trade Council of the National Forest Products Association.

James C. Dinegar has been named manager of the government affairs division for the American Society of Association Executives.

BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES John M. Fowler has been named president and chief executive officer of Gulf Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Commercial Credit Co. in Baltimore. In addition to his new role at Gulf, Fowler will continue as senior vice president of corporate development for Commercial Credit.

Madison Bank of Maryland, a financial company of James Madison Ltd., named Charles T. Adkins president.

Eric I. Garfinkel has been appointed vice president and general counsel of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. OPIC is a federally owned agency that provides political risk insurance and finance services to encourage U.S private investment in developing countries.

Signet Bank/Virginia named Thomas L. Francy vice president; Donna L. Harris, Linda M. Derck, and Thomas O. Sanderson assistant vice presidents; and Yvonne E. Thomas investment officer in the Metro Washington Group.

Congressional Funding Inc., a full-service mortgage banking company with offices in Kensington and McLean, appointed Stuart S. Feinberg assistant vice president for its newly created Residential Mortgage division.

Capital Bank N.A. appointed Robert G. Lowe assistant vice president/corporate lending.

The National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. elected James M. Darvin chairman of the board of governors effective Sept.1.

COMMUNICATIONS The Washington Times named Mark Tapscott business editor and Richard Marin television critic.

Ellen B. Belkin was named director of marketing for WETACOM Inc., a District-based video communications company.

James Gutman was appointed editorial director of Washington Business Information Inc.'s 10 newsletters, primarily in health and safety regulations.

Telenet Communications Corp. appointed William T. White vice president of sales for Regional Bell Operating Cos. He will be responsible for marketing and sales of Telenet's products and services to the Bell Operating Companies.

The Journal of Forestry, the monthly publication of the Society of American Foresters in Bethesda, named Barbara T. Richman editor.

COMPUTER, HIGH TECHNOLOGY Martin Marietta Commercial Titan Systems appointed Diana H. Josephson director of a new Commercial Titan Washington office.

United Software Security Inc. in Vienna named Ira Apatoff vice president of sales.

GOVERNMENT Willard Phillips Jr. was named director of the Tennessee Valley Authority Washington office.

The Securities and Exchange Commission appointed Richard J. Sheehan assistant director of the Division of Enforcement.

The Department of Transportation named B. Wayne Vance general counsel. He has been chief of staff for Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole.

David M. Walker was appointed assistant secretary of labor for pension and welfare benefits for the U.S. Department of Labor.

HEALTH Group Health Association appointed Theodore J. Weinberg, formerly with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, chief financial officer.

Capital Medical Services Inc., a Lanham-based laboratory and blood banking services company, appointed Deborah Satterwhite executive director; Dr. Saroj Das technical director; and Ken Stewart director of sales and marketing.

HOTEL, FOOD SERVICES The Holiday Inn hotel in Old Town Alexandria named Ki Choi executive chef.

David A. DuBois has been named director of sales and promotions for the Sheraton Sales Center in the District.

The Old Colony Inn in Alexandria named Glenn A. Godden food and beverage director.

INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING G. Kirk Finch II was named director of advanced programs for KRS Remote Sensing, a Kodak company based in Landover.

Figgie Acceptance Corp., the financial subsidiary of Figgie International Inc., appointed Grant S. Grayson president.

NONPROFIT Clean Sites Inc. appointed Thomas P. Grumbly president and Eugene Berman executive vice president. Clean Sites is a nonprofit organization that encourages the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.

National Geographic Society named Robert B. Sims to the newly created position of vice president of communications.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Dr. Edward G. Gibson joined Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc. as a principal in its space systems practice. Gibson, a former astronaut, will head the firm's Space Station-space operations integration work for NASA.

KSK Communications Ltd. in McLean promoted Christine Plumer to vice president.

Jerry Solomon has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of ProServe, a District-based sports marketing and management company.

General Maintenance Service Co. Inc. named Robert J. Butorac operations manager; Damian DelMoral, Bruce Wilkins, David M. Monroe area managers.

Aronson, Fetridge, Weigle & Stern, a Bethesda-based public accounting firm, promoted Lisa J. Cines and Tim Cummins to audit supervisor, and Krishnan Chettiar to tax supervisor.

Martin-Schaffer Inc., a Bethesda advertising and public relations firm, named Diane Block media buyer and Valerie Pugh administrative assistant.

James R. Long joined Kamber Engineering Inc. in Gaithersburg as a senior project engineer.