Ruth Finkelstein, ScD, is the Rose Dobrof Executive Director of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College as well as a professor at Hunter College’s School of Urban Public Health. She works to transform society’s understanding of aging from that of a state of decline to a life course stage full of challenges and opportunities.
Dr. Finkelstein joined Hunter College in 2018 and is guiding Brookdale’s leadership in promoting opportunities for everyone to age as well as anyone can. In her first year with Hunter, she led the initiative to have Hunter College become the first major public institution in the U.S. to join the Global Network of Age-Friendly Universities. She has also begun grant-funded projects creating a student/older adult home-sharing program in East Harlem, expanding access to meaningful arts engagement for older adults in New York City, and developing a new financial exploitation prevention strategy for financial institutions and law enforcement.
Dr. Finkelstein was formerly the associate director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. Her signature initiatives at Columbia included the Age Smart Employer Awards, honoring businesses that value intergenerational workplaces and workers; the Age Boom Academy, a course that educates journalists about reporting on aging; and Exceeding Expectations, a digital narrative following New Yorkers over 80. During her tenure at the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Finkelstein was the architect of the award-winning citywide program, Age-Friendly New York City. Dr. Finkelstein is the recipient of the 2019 Maggie Kuhn Award from PSS (formerly Presbyterian Senior Services) for her commitment to activism in aging, and for strengthening the capacity of older New Yorkers to thrive.