Dr Debra Whitman - Plenary Panel Day 2: Age-friendly Cities and Communities – ‘Creating Enabling Environments’

Dr Debra Whitman - Plenary Panel Day 2: Age-friendly Cities and Communities – ‘Creating Enabling Environments’ Dr Debra Whitman - Plenary Panel Day 2: Age-friendly Cities and Communities – ‘Creating Enabling Environments’

June 17, 20162 min read

Dr. Debra Whitman is an authority on ageing issues with extensive experience in policymaking, research and the political process. As chief public policy officer for AARP, Dr. Whitman leads policy development, analysis and research, as well as global thought leadership supporting and advancing the interests of individuals 50-plus and their families. She oversees AARP’s Public Policy Institute, AARP Research, Office of Policy Development and Integration, Thought Leadership, and AARP International.

Later this month at the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing in Brisbane Australia, Dr. Whitman will be presenting in the Plenary Panel on Wednesday 22 June 2016 at 9:15 am discussing Age-Friendly Cities and Communities – Creating Enabling Environments.

The IFA Conference is focusing on age-friendly environments and providing a platform to engage with stakeholders, identify priority actions and provide evidence-based planning. This is a unique opportunity to ensure that work being conducted on the ground can influence global bodies such as the WHO Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) for further development and appropriate support.

Did you know that an ageing population poses a number of challenges not only for policy makers but increasingly for urban planners? In fact, the number, location, health, functional ability of the older population will impact everything from seating design and the width of our footpaths, to the way we plan transportation, roads, public spaces and housing. More and more people are ageing in place, which means our communities, cities, regions and towns need to accommodate the mobility of older people. This will undoubtedly have a serious impact on how politicians, policy makers and every level of how governments will plan for the future.

An economist, Dr. Whitman’s career has been dedicated to solving problems affecting economic and health security, and other issues related to population aging. As staff director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, she worked across the aisle to increase retirement security, lower the cost of health care, protect vulnerable seniors, and improve our nation’s long term care system.

From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Whitman served as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Earlier in her career, she conducted research on savings and retirement for the U.S. Social Security Administration.


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  • Dr. Debra Whitman
    Dr. Debra Whitman Chief Public Policy Officer

    Debra Whitman, PhD, is an economist and expert on aging issues with extensive experience in national policymaking and global research.

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