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.


Linda P. Fried

Dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Dr. Linda P. Fried, is the dean at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health where she is appointed as DeLamar Professor of Public Health and Professor of Epidemiology, as well as professor of medicine at The College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Senior Vice President of the Columbia University Medical Center. Prior to her joining Columbia University in 2008, Dr. Fried served as the Mason F. Lord Professor of Geriatric Medicine and director of the division of geriatric medicine and gerontology and of The Center on Aging and Health at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

A geriatrician and epidemiologist, Dr. Fried has dedicated her career to the science of healthy aging, particularly the science of frailty and disability, and has led the scientific discoveries as to the definition and causes of frailty. She is also the co-founder of Experience Corps, a social, community-based model for the prevention of frailty and disability for older adults embedded in a program of senior service in public elementary schools to improve the academic success of the children. Dr. Fried is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the National Institute of Aging MERIT Award, the U.S. National Bridge Builders Award, the Alliance for Aging Research’s 2011 Silver Innovator and 2012 Silver Scholar Awards, the 2012 Longevity Prize of the Foundation IPSEN, and has been named a “Living Legend in Medicine” by the U.S. Congress. In 2014 Thomson-Reuters named her as among the top 1% most influential scientific minds of the past decade.  Dr. Fried is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the 2016-2017 President of the Association of American Physicians.  She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on an Aging World, and of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society.

Dr. Fried is a board-certified internist and geriatrician, with postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in geriatrics, general internal medicine and epidemiology (cardiovascular and aging). She received her MD from Rush Medical College and MPH from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.



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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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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