Stephanie Lederman, American Federation for Aging Research

TITLE: Executive Director

FUNDING AREAS: Biomedical research and study related to healthy aging, geriatrics, Alzheimer's, cognitive decline in the elderly, and longevity

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PROFILE: Directing this AFAR money is Lederman, who has had a long career in the nonprofit health sector. Previously, she served as executive director at the Children's Health Fund and the National Center for Health Education, and also held leadership roles at the American Red Cross in Greater New York, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the American Heart Association.

Lederman made an appearance in the New York Times, reacting to a National Research Council/Institute of Medicine report detailing how terrible the American health-care system is relative to its counterparts in other wealthy countries. Lederman's concern: understanding how people who actually get to age 85 "enjoy such exceptional longevity." If we can get a handle on that, according to Lederman, perhaps we can provide hope for the Americans under 50 who are currently looking at lower life expectancies than their counterparts in other countries.