Ursula M. Staudinger, PhD, a lifespan psychologist and an internationally acknowledged aging researcher, joined the Mailman School in July 2013 as Founding Director of the new Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. The Center is a global hub for interdisciplinary aging research and knowledge transfer to policy makers, companies, as well as the general public. Additionally, Dr. Staudinger leads the renowned International Longevity Center (ILC) USA, part of the fourteen-member, multinational ILC - Global Alliance consortium that seeks to help societies address longevity and population aging in positive and productive ways.
Prior to coming to Mailman, Dr. Staudinger was the Vice President of Jacobs University Bremen in Germany and Founding Dean of the Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development at Jacobs University Bremen, an interdisciplinary research center investigating productive aging, with a focus on education and the labor market. Earlier in her career, she was a Professor of Developmental Psychology at the Technical University Dresden and was Senior Scientist of the Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin, Germany.
Dr. Staudinger's research focuses on the opportunities and challenges of increases in average life expectancy. She investigates the potentials of aging by studying the plasticity of the aging process (e.g. cognition or personality), as well the development of life insight, life management, and wisdom over the life span. Her findings have yielded helpful advice for living, work, and education during this time of unprecedented demographic change.