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Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Hartford Center of Excellence at the School of Social Work, University of Washington. In 2014, she received the UW Award of Excellence for Distinguished Teaching for her enthusiastic teaching style and creative curriculum design. This highly competitive and prestigious honor, given annually to only a few selected University faculty members, recognizes her exemplary scholarship and classroom innovations.

Dr. Fredriksen-Goldsen’s primary area of scholarship focuses on the intersection of health disparities, aging and care giving in marginalized communities. Currently, as the Principal Investigator of the National Health, Aging and Sexuality Study: Caring and Aging with Pride over Time (R01), she is leading the first national longitudinal study on health disparities of LGBT midlife and older adults and their caregivers.

She is a co-principal investigator of the Healthy Hearts across Generations, which is examining cross-generational risk of cardiovascular disease in the Tulalip Native community. As an Investigator on an HIV anti-retroviral adherence project in China, she integrated family caregivers in a culturally based intervention. Dr. Fredriksen-Goldsen is the author of three books and more than 75 publications in such leading journals as the American Journal for Public Health, The Gerontologist and Social Work. Her book, Families and Work: New Directions in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press), is the most comprehensive study to date of care giving across the lifespan.

As the previous associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Social Work, Dr. Fredriksen-Goldsen provided leadership, strategic direction and administrative oversight for all academic affairs and degree programs. In collaboration with faculty and program directors, she developed and monitored a strategic evaluation and planning process to insure innovative programming and assessment of all academic programs. She is currently serving her third term on the UW Faculty Senate and served as an active member on the Board of Associate Deans of the Health Sciences.

Dr. Fredriksen-Goldsen has received numerous awards for advancing health and aging research and education. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a Hartford Scholar National Mentor. She received the Outstanding Research Award and was selected as a Hartford Faculty Scholar by the John A. Hartford Foundation. Locally, nationally and internationally, Dr. Fredriksen-Goldsen provides consultation and training on effectively serving midlife and older adults and their families within marginalized communities. She served as Commissioner on the National CSWE Commission for Economic Justice and Diversity and as past Co-Chair of the Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression. She is a Founder of Shanti/Seattle and GSA Rainbow Research Group. She received her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. She currently lives with her family in Seattle, Washington.

Professional Interests:

  • Social policy; gerontology
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Family care
  • Nontraditional families, including lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals
  • HIV infection

Research Projects: