A photo of Leanne J Clark-Shirley.Leanne J. Clark-Shirley, MGS, PhD

Vice-President, Programs & Thought Leadership, American Society on Aging

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American society on aging Profile





Leanne Clark-Shirley, PhD is a social gerontologist committed to changing societal and individuals’ views on aging. She believes that age-inclusive communities, commerce, and philanthropy are essential to overcoming some of our biggest challenges, including systemic discrimination and climate change. Dr. Clark-Shirley also believes in the power of participatory research and data collection to inform strategic plans, public policy, and program design.

As Vice President of Programs and Thought Leadership at the American Society on Aging (ASA), she works to elevate important and sometimes difficult conversations about equity and social justice throughout ASA’s programs and publications. She also plays a large part in bringing ASA’s strategic plan to life. Before joining ASA, Leanne was AARP’s Senior Evaluation Advisor, responsible for strategic planning and building internal evaluation research capacity. Prior to that, she led the Aging and Disability research practice at IMPAQ International, a think-tank and policy research firm. A common thread of strengthening formal and informal systems of care runs through these experiences.

Dr. Clark-Shirley is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, teaches courses on policy and aging and regularly mentors students interested in non-academic careers in aging. She received her doctorate in Gerontology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and currently resides in Durham, North Carolina with her husband Andy and yellow Labrador retriever, Jackson.

Keywords: gerontology, care systems, age-inclusion, ageism, non-academic careers, social change