Lichtenberg Takes Office as The Gerontological Society of America’s President

For Immediate Release
January 6, 2022

Contact: Todd Kluss
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Peter A. Lichtenberg, PhD, ABPP, FGSA, of Wayne State University has been installed as the new president of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. He was elected by GSA’s membership, which consists of more than 5,500 researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals.

Lichtenberg is the 78th person to hold the office since the Society was founded in 1945. As president, he will oversee matters of GSA’s governance and strategic planning, while also managing the program for GSA’s 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting. He has chosen “Embracing Our Diversity. Enriching Our Discovery. Reimagining Aging.” as the theme for this conference, which will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from November 2 to 6.

“It is a tremendous honor and pleasure to be the president of GSA,” Lichtenberg said. “I am so fortunate to be surrounded by the exceptional staff at GSA, an outstanding Board of Directors and board chair as well as the talented colleagues who lead our sections and groups.”

Lichtenberg is the director of the Institute of Gerontology (1999 to present) and a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Wayne State University. A clinician, researcher, faculty member, and administrator throughout his career, his professional roles underscore his commitment to growing gerontology programs and promoting environments for colleagues and students to flourish. He also continues to have a private practice as a clinical geropsychologist.

At Wayne State he helped create and lead the Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience research program, a pre-doctoral training program in urban aging and health, and for 23 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 he led the creation of the Institute of Gerontology's first endowment campaign, which now stands at $2.25 million.

Lichtenberg received his BA degree from Washington University (St. Louis) and master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology, with a concentration in aging, from Purdue University. Throughout his career, his clinical and research work focused on the intersection of geriatric medical rehabilitation, dementia assessment, late life depression, financial decision-making, and financial exploitation. The author of several assessment instruments, he has authored 200 peer reviewed publications, and written and edited seven books.

“Dr. Lichtenberg’s expertise in the growing field of financial capacity assessment and financial exploitation of older adults is especially relevant given the challenges faced by families nationwide in supporting aging loved ones,” said GSA CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH. “The importance of this work has been further magnified by the social isolation that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in exploitation of older adults.”


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.

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