DETROIT – Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP, director of the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University, has been elected president of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). GSA is the leading interdisciplinary gerontology research organization in the world, with a membership of 5,300. Lichtenberg is the first Wayne State University member of GSA to be elected president.
“It is an honor to serve,” Lichtenberg said. “I have several goals, but chief among them will be expanding the impact of gerontology through new areas of research and promoting the value of older adults while combatting ageism. I look forward to working with GSA’s exceptional membership to strengthen its core values and ensure abundant opportunities for the next generation of gerontologists.”
Lichtenberg has worked as a clinical geropsychologist, researcher, program director and national leader in gerontology for the past 34 years. He has held several leadership positions within GSA, including chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences section, creator and head of the Gerontology Program Leader Network, and chair of the GSA Publications Committee. At Wayne State University, he helped create and lead the Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience research program, a pre-doctoral training program in urban aging and health, and for 22 years has co-directed Michigan’s Urban African American Aging Center, funded by the National Institute on Aging. He created an ongoing, award-winning, community engagement program and recently led the creation of a $1.5 million endowment.
Lichtenberg is nationally known for his work on financial decision-making, capacity, vulnerability and undue influence in older adults. As one of the country’s first board-certified clinical geropsychologists, he has contributed significantly to the practice of older-adult psychology in areas including financial exploitation, Alzheimer’s disease and late-life depression. He is the author of nine books, including the two-volume APA Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology (2015), and is the author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has also created several widely used tools for assessing financial decision-making in older adults.
“I hope my experiences and leadership are a testament to my commitment to growing gerontology programs and fostering environments in which colleagues and students can flourish,” Lichtenberg said.
The Institute of Gerontology researches aging, educates students in gerontology, and informs professionals, caregivers and older adults in the community on issues related to aging (iog.wayne.edu). The Institute is part of the Division of Research at Wayne State University, one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research institutions in an urban setting. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit research.wayne.edu.