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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Population
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Future Directions for the Demography of Aging

Workshop Steering Committee Members

Mark D. Hayward (Chair) is a professor of sociology, Centennial Commission professor in the Liberal Arts, and a faculty research associate of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He is former president of the Southern Demographic Association and chair of the Aging and Life Course section of the American Sociological Association. Dr. Hayward's primary research interests center on the influence of life course exposures and events on the morbidity and mortality experiences of the older population. Presently, he is involved in several studies focusing on the origins of health disparities at older ages: early life influences on socioeconomic, race and gender disparities in adult morbidity and mortality; the demography of race/ethnic and gender disparities in healthy life expectancy; social inequality in the biomarkers of aging; and the health consequences of marriage, divorce, and widowhood. Recent publications have focused on changes in morbidity and mortality determining trends in healthy life expectancy, socioeconomic and race/ethnic differences in healthy life expectancy, and the association between childhood health, education and adult morbidity and mortality. His recently published work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Demography, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Science and Medicine. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Committee for the International Association of Population Health Science Research and the National Advisory Committee for the Health and Society Scholars Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He has served on the boards of the Population Association of America and the Society of Biodemography and Social Biology, and he was a member and then chair of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Council. Dr. Hayward received his Ph.D. in sociology from Indiana University.

Vicki A. Freedman is a Research Professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Her research focuses on the consequences of population aging for disability, long-term care, and related public health issues. Recent publications focus on late-life disability trends, time use and wellbeing in later life, the role of environmental factors in late-life health and disability, and associated measurement issues. She is also co-author of the text, Public Health and Aging: Maximizing Functioning and Wellbeing (2010). Dr. Freedman currently serves as co-Principal Investigator of the National Health and Aging Trends Study, a platform for studying late-life disability trends and trajectories, and as Associate Director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a long-term panel study of social, economic, and health-related dynamics over the life course and across generations. She also co-directs the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging. From 2005-2007 she served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Disability in America. Dr. Freedman received her M.A. in demography from Georgetown University and Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University.

Linda J. Waite is Lucy Flower professor of urban sociology and professor of sociology, Department of Sociology, Population Research Center, the University of Chicago. She is also director of the Center on Aging, NORC. Her current research interests include: social demography, aging, the family, health, working families, the link between biology, psychology, and the social world. She has conducted a pioneering study on marriage, which argues that marriage changes people’s behavior in ways that promote economic, emotional and physical well-being. She also has studied the decision to cohabit, the transition from cohabitation to marriage and the characteristics of cohabiting unions. She has examined the role of religious participation over the life course and the lives of working couples with children. She has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from the University of Michigan.

David R. Weir is research professor in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, and director of the NIA-funded Health and Retirement Study. His current research interests include the use of longitudinal data to study chronic disease processes; health care decision-making at older ages; the role of personality factors in lifetime economic success; and the use of biomarkers in population surveys. Dr. Weir currently serves on the NRC Panel on Policy Research and Data Needs to Meet the Challenge of Aging in Asia and served on the Planning Committee for Academies-wide Initiative on the Grand Challenges of an Aging Society. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Rebeca Wong is the P. & S. Kempner distinguished professor of health disparities at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), a professor of sociomedical sciences in the UTMB Preventive Medicine and Community Health unit, and a senior fellow of the Sealy Center on Aging, also at UTMB. She is the principal investigator of the longitudinal Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). Prior to joining UTMB, she served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Georgetown University Department of Demography, and as associate director of the University of Maryland Population Research Center. Dr. Wong's research agenda focuses on the economic consequences of population aging, in particular in Mexico and among immigrant Hispanics in the U.S. She holds a B.S. from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics, both from the University of Michigan.

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