Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, is the new president of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation’s largest multidisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. She will officially begin her term at the organization’s 68th annual meeting on November 18, 2015.
Morrow-Howell is the Betty Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy at the Brown School and the Director of the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging in the Institute for Public Health. She is a national leader in gerontology, widely known for her work on productive and civic engagement of older adults.
As president, Morrow-Howell will be responsible for leading matters of GSA governance and strategic planning. GSA officers are chosen by the group’s membership, which consists of over 5,500 researchers, educators, and practitioners.
Of the appointment, Morrow-Howell remarked, “I attended my first annual GSA meeting as a doctoral student at UC-Berkeley. That was over 30 years ago, and I remain an enthusiastic and proud member of this impressive organization. Now more than ever, researchers, educators, and practitioners from all disciplines most come together to advance knowledge, programs, and policies for aging society. I am glad that I can serve GSA in this significant way.”
Morrow-Howell completed her PhD in social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley and has been on the faculty at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University since 1987.
One of her latest projects, titled “Engaging Older Adults in Shaping Ferguson’s Future,” aims to document the experiences of older adults in the recent events in Ferguson and nearby communities in north St. Louis county and help ensure the inclusion of older adults in community-wide initiatives. This work will focus initially in the Ferguson area, but has potential to impact the larger St. Louis region and the ways we address the challenges of an aging population, socio-economic disparities, and civic unrest.
She is editor of the book Productive Aging, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and she is on the editorial board of several top journals in gerontology. With support from Retirement Research, the Metlife Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and the National Institute on Aging, she explores strategies to maximize the engagement of older adults in productive roles.