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Next Avenue announces 2015 Influencers in Aging

October 28, 2015
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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Next Avenue is recognizing Maria Shriver, Roz Chast, Ina Jaffe, Glen Campbell, Dan Buettner and Ezekiel Emanuel, among others, for improving the lives of older adults.

Today Next Avenue, a national public media service for America’s growing 50-and-older population, named its inaugural class of 2015 Influencers in Aging. Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, has been named the Influencer of the Year. Gawande is a Harvard Medical School professor, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of the bestselling book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.”

“Americans are redefining what it means to grow old in this country,” says Susan Donley, managing director of Next Avenue. “Our readers are hungry for new ideas, products, policies and programs that help them live the way they want as they age. Next Avenue’s Influencers in Aging are men and women who are leading that change. We are proud to shine a light on their accomplishments and hope to inspire others to engage in this important work.”

Influencers include thought leaders, executives, writers, artists, researchers, experts and everyday people who have are changing how people age and how people perceive aging. Influencers must improve the lives of older adults through their work or by example, but they need not be 50 years old or older.

Next Avenue’s editorial team and a panel of outside advisers chose the recipients.

Without further ado, the complete list of influencers:


  • Roz Chast           
  • Barbara Coombs Lee
  • Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen
  • Dr. Atul Gawande       
  • Lisa Genova
  • Larry Minnix 
  • Dr. Laura Mosqueda        
  • Ai-jen Poo           
  • Maria Shriver    
  • Dr. Bill Thomas


Health & Well-Being

  • Jennie Chin Hansen     
  • Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel
  • Dr. Linda P. Fried
  • Cynthia Kenyon
  • Dr. Joanne Lynn 
  • Kevin J. Mahoney       
  • Dr. Bruce Miller       
  • Felipe Sierra    
  • Ken Smith      
  • Nora Super  


Living & Learning

  • Barbara Beskind
  • Dan Buettner     
  • Donna Butts    
  • Glen Campbell  
  • Laura L. Carstensen         
  • Joseph F. Coughlin        
  • Katy Fike
  • Rodney Harrell   
  • Ina Jaffe           
  • Bernard Osher

Money & Security

  • Susan Collins  
  • Nora Dowd Eisenhower    
  • Vickie Elisa        
  • James Firman         
  • Kathy Greenlee
  • Cindy Hounsell 
  • Cynthia Hutchins        
  • J. Mark Iwry   
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff            
  • Alicia H. Munnell


Work & Purpose

  • Sudipto Banerjee
  • Peter Cappelli 
  • Tobey Dichter  
  • Marc Freedman  
  • Carrie Hessler-Radelet  
  • Dr. Philip Pizzo    
  • Lauren Stiller Rikleen     
  • Ofer Sharone     
  • Lester Strong  
  • Barbara Vacarr

More information can be found at