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Hyer Takes Office as The Gerontological Society of America’s President

For Immediate Release
January 29, 2020

Contact: Todd Kluss
(202) 587-2839

Kathryn Hyer, MPP, PhD, FGSA, FAGHE, of the University of South Florida (USF) has been installed as the new president of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. She was elected by GSA’s membership, which consists of more than 5,500 researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals.

Hyer is the 76th person to hold the office since the Society was founded in 1945. As president, she will oversee matters of GSA’s governance and strategic planning, while also managing the program for GSA’s 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting. She has chosen “Turning 75: Why Age Matters.” as the theme for this conference, which will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from November 4 to 8.

“For 75 years, GSA has helped lead our conceptualization and understanding of age and aging. Our work has helped countless older adults, families, professionals caring for older adults, and communities,” Hyer said. “We have accomplished a great deal over the history of GSA, but now is our opportunity to focus on our next 75 years. I’m hoping that at our 2020 meeting we can have lively discussions about how we help the next generation of students and scholars think about aging,” Hyer said.

Hyer is a professor in the School of Aging Studies and director of the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the USF. Her scholarship focuses on the quality of care in long-term care settings, disaster preparedness, curriculum development and educational evaluation.

She is the principal investigator on a National Institute on Aging grant that is calculating the morbidity and mortality of nursing home and assisted living residents in the path of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the effects of evacuation versus sheltering residents in place. She also heads USF’s Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Hyer earned her MPP at the Kennedy School of Harvard University and PhD from Arizona State University. Active in GSA since 1987, she is a fellow of both GSA and its educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). She’s on the editorial boards of The Gerontologist, Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, Journal of Aging and Social Policy, and an associate editor of JAMDA. She is a former chair of GSA’s Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section; she previously served on GSA’s Membership, Executive, and Finance Committees (AGHE’s treasurer from 2008 to 2012); and she is a member of multiple GSA interest groups.

“Dr. Hyer is well-respected throughout our field for her many accomplishments, and we are proud to welcome her leadership,” said GSA CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH. “She has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the impact of disasters on older adults and to develop appropriate responses, and more broadly has served as a champion for ensuring the health care field is adequately trained to serve the older population.”


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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