Stephanie Firestone, MUP

Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health and Age-Friendly Communities at AARP International

2015 Fellow

Stephanie is a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor for Health and Age-Friendly Communities at AARP International. n this role she collaborates with international organizations such as the World Health Organization, where she is the liaison between the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities and AARP’s Network of Age-friendly Communities. She also works with WHO colleagues in developing plans for the Decade of Healthy Ageing initiative (2020-2030), including ways that AARP’s experience with Disrupt Aging can inform planning for the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism. Stephanie also collaborates with organizations such as the American Planning Association (APA), the Global Planners Network, and the American Society on Aging (ASA) to advance the art of planning for aging in the U.S. and internationally. Stephanie shares and exchanges good practices with age-friendly colleagues around the world and provides consultation to cities seeking to become more age-friendly, such as The Hague in the Netherlands and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates—the first Arab city in the world to join the global age-friendly network.

Prior to her current position, Stephanie was Director of Livable Communities at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), where she worked with Area Agencies, cities and counties to create multistakeholder partnerships, develop action plans and enhance their capacity to create communities that are livable for people of all ages and abilities. Tools she developed for local changemakers include n4a’s recent publication, “Making Your Community Livable for All Ages: What’s Working!” She has consulted to communities around the country as they plan for rapidly aging populations, spoken at conferences and academic symposia on planning for aging, and written Age’n Community, a blog on senior mobility at Stephanie has over twenty years of experience working in the public sector advancing environmental policy, planning and mediation, as well as civic engagement. Much of her career has focused on environmental justice, with an emphasis on ameliorating the disproportionate impacts from environmental nuisances on the health and well-being of disadvantaged and disenfranchised populations. Internationally, Stephanie has been involved with European environmental sustainability initiatives and founded Israel’s first Jewish-Arab environmental NGO, through which she mediated environmental conflict and advanced common environmental agendas. She has worked at both the local and national levels promoting sustainable cities, including preparing the State of Israel for its participation in the World Summit on Sustainable Development and presenting at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City. Stephanie is involved in her local community as a hospice volunteer and a volunteer birth doula. She is married with three girls and lives in Rockville, Maryland. Stephanie earned a Master of Urban & Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Communications from the State University of New York.

Areas of Interest

Program Info

Program Track

Office of Community Planning and Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)