Karen I. Fredriksen Goldsen

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

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Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of Healthy Generations Hartford Center of Excellence at the University of Washington. Dr. Fredriksen Goldsen is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar addressing equity and the intersections of aging, health disparities, and well-being in resilient at-risk communities.

With more than 20 years of consecutive external funding, Dr. Fredriksen Goldsen has led many landmark studies and was selected in PBS’s Next Avenue’s inaugural top 50 Influencers in Aging. Characterized as a “world leader” in LGBT midlife development and aging research, she is principal investigator of two federally-funded studies regarding LGBT older adults and their caregivers. Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study is the first national longitudinal study of LGBT midlife and older adult health to identify modifiable factors that account for health trajectories in these communities. Older Adults Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers: Testing an Evidence-Based Intervention for Underserved Populations is the first federally-funded study to test interventions among LGBT older adults living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. 

She is also investigator on Rainbow Ageing: A National Study of the Lives of Older LGBTI Australians which is investigating pathways for evidence-based policy and practice initiatives that target the needs of older LGBTI Australians. Dr. Fredriksen Goldsen previously developed the first national study of health and aging of LGBT midlife and older adults, Caring and Aging with Pride (R01). She has also investigated health and well-being across other historically disadvantaged communities, including the impact of HIV on older adults and their caregivers in China and reducing cross-generational risk of cardiovascular disease in a Native American community.

Dr. Fredriksen Goldsen is the author of more than 100 publications in leading journals such as the American Journal for Public Health, The Gerontologist, and Social Work, as well as three books, including Families and Work: New Directions in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press), the most comprehensive study to date of caregiving across the lifespan. She has provided invitational presentations at U.S. White House conferences, Institute of Medicine, Congressional Briefings, and a United Nations conference, as well as numerous others. Her research has been cited by leading news sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes.

Dr. Fredriksen Goldsen has received many awards for her innovative work advancing aging and health research, practice, and education such as the campus-wide University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award and the Association of Gerontology Education Career Achievement Award. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a Hartford Scholar and Mentor. Locally, nationally, and internationally, she provides consultation and training on effectively serving older adults and their families in historically disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

As a previous associate dean for academic affairs, she provided leadership, strategic direction, and administrative oversight for all academic degree programs, and developed a strategic evaluation and planning process to insure innovative programming and assessment in the Health Sciences’ School of Social Work. Dr. Fredriksen Goldsen currently serves on the University of Washington Faculty Senate, and several editorial and community-based boards. She served as a 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. Dr. Fredriksen Goldsen is the founder of Generations Aging with Pride, GSA Rainbow Research Group, and Shanti/Seattle. She received her PhD in social welfare from the University of California at Berkeley.