The Age Boom Academy is a joint project of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center and Columbia School of Journalism.  It is currently led by the following people with generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Ruth Finkelstein, ScD 

Associate Director, The Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center; Professor of Health Policy and Management, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Ruth Finkelstein, Associate Director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center, leads the translation of interdisciplinary scientific knowledge on aging and its societal implications into policy-focused practice.  The goal of the Center’s policy work is to maximize productivity, quality of life, and health across the life course.  Dr. Finkelstein is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health.  She also serves as director of ILC-USA.

Prior to joining Columbia, Dr. Finkelstein was the Senior Vice President for Policy and Planning at The New York Academy of Medicine, where she directed the Age-friendly New York City Initiative, which won the 2013 award for “The Best Existing Age Friendly Initiative in the World” from the International Federation on Ageing, as well as the Archstone Award for Excellence in Program Innovation from the American Public Health Association. In 2012, Ruth was named one of the nation’s “Game Changers” by Metropolis Magazine for her leadership on the Age-friendly NYC initiative.

Dr. Finkelstein has over thirty years experience in health policy, planning and research, focused on promoting health for vulnerable populations. As an expert in health care financing, HIV/AIDS care, and drug policy, she has led studies that motivated the integration of adherence support and drug treatment into HIV/AIDS care and also authored policy papers that helped provide a public health framework to overturn the Rockefeller drug laws in New York State. She has also provided technical assistance to other cities in the U.S. and around the world on planning, implementation, and evaluation of systems-level aging initiatives.

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Jack Rosenthal

President Emeritus, The New York Times Company Foundation

In 40 years at The New York Times, Jack Rosenthal served as editor of the editorial page, won a Pulitzer Prize, edited the New York Times Magazine and created The Times Foundation’s Institutes for Journalists.

Mr. Rosenthal was born in Tel-Aviv, grew up in Portland, Oregon, and went to Harvard, where he was an executive of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a reporter and editor at The Oregonian in Portland and served in the U.S. Army. In 1961, he went to Washington and served as special assistant to Attorneys General Kennedy and Katzenbach. In 1966, the Washington press corps voted him the outstanding press officer in the Government. He later served as executive assistant to the Under Secretary of State.

In 1967-68, as a Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics, he served as principal editor of the Kerner Report, the presidential commission report on urban riots. He joined the the Times as its national urban correspondent and in 1969 won a Gerald Loeb Award, for reporting on cities and suburbs. He became deputy editorial board editor in 1977 and in 1982 won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished editorial writing. He served as editorial page editor (1986-1993) at the Times and editor of Time magazine (1993-2000).

In 2000, as the new president of The Times Company Foundation, he launched Times Institutes for Journalists starting with the first Age Boom Academy, which he created with Dr. Robert N. Butler. Thanks to support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, there have been 67 institutes, serving more than 900 writers and editors nationally.

Mr. Rosenthal is founder and chairman of ReServe, an award-winning nonprofit that connects skilled older adults with work at public and nonprofit service agencies. It has placed thousands of ReServists in New York, Miami, Baltimore, Boston and Newark.

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Bruce Shapiro

Executive Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Bruce Shapiro is executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of Columbia Journalism School encouraging innovative reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy worldwide. Shapiro also directs Columbia Journalism School’s professional programs. An award-winning reporter on human rights, criminal justice and politics, Shapiro is a contributing editor at The Nation and U.S. correspondent for Late Night Live on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National. His books include Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America (Nation Books), and Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America’s Future (New Press), written with Reverend Jesse Jackson.

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Ursula M. Staudinger, PhD

Director, The Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center; Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health; Professor of Psychology, Columbia University

A distinguished scholar and academic leader in the field of lifespan and aging research, Ursula M. Staudinger, PhD, joined Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health as the founding director of the Columbia Aging Center.  She is the Robert N. Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Professor of of Psychology.

Prior to her arrival at the Columbia Aging Center, Dr. Staudinger was the founding Dean of the Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany. Under her leadership, the Jacobs Center took an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of productive aging with a focus on education and the labor market. With faculty members ranging from the neurosciences, human performance, psychology, and sociology to business administration and political science, she worked toward deciphering the potential of human aging.  Previously, Dr. Staudinger held a chair in lifespan psychology at the Technical University Dresden and had been a senior researcher for many years at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

She serves as Vice President and Foreign Secretary of the German National Academy of Sciences, Chairwoman of the Board of the Federal Institute of Population Research, and Vice Chair of the Board of the Volkswagen Foundation. Dr. Staudinger has demonstrated a compelling vision for the enhancement of aging research at the Mailman School as well as Columbia University at large with the establishment of a University Seminar “The Future of Aging Research.”  Under her guidance, the Columbia Aging Center seeks to strengthen the impact of aging research in civil society and politics. She is dedicated to preserving and enriching the academic excellence of interdisciplinary aging research and its impact on higher education.

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The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation makes grants primarily to support original research and broad-based education related to science, technology, economic performance and the quality of American life. The Foundation is unique in its focus on science, technology and economic institutions—and the scholars and practitioners who work in these fields—as chief drivers of the nation’s health and prosperity. The Foundation has a deep-rooted belief that carefully reasoned systematic understanding of the forces of nature and society, when applied inventively and wisely, can lead to a better world for all. The Foundation’s endowment provides the financial resources to support its activities. The investment strategy for the endowment is to invest prudently in a diversified portfolio of assets with the goal of achieving superior return