Board of Directors

Emi Kiyota, Ph.D.

Dr Emi Kiyota, an environmental gerontologist, educator, and organizational culture change expert, focuses on initiatives to improve the quality of the built environment for healthcare settings and long term care services for elders.

Emi is a consultant to numerous age-friendly design projects for senior housing, hospitals, and clinical-care centres in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Dr. Kiyota is also a frequent speaker on these issues to audiences of both academics and practitioners, including the World City Summit, World Bank, Moscow Urban form. In addition to her consultant work on quality improvement in the built environment for long-term care and ageing services, Emi holds great concern for the similar needs of elders in the developing world. To this end, Emi and a group of like- minded colleagues have created a not-for-profit, international organization entitled Ibasho, embodying the Japanese concept of “a place where one feels at home being oneself.“ Ibasho aims to create a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable communities that value their elders. With this vision, She has involved in development for housing and services for elders in Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Ivory Coast. She also facilitated to build the first innovative “Ibasho cafe” in disaster area in Japan after the Great East Earthquake/Tsunami, and is implementing this initiative in Philippines. Emi was awarded as a Bellagio Fellowship for a one month residency on an ‘Innovative Response to Global Aging’ from the Rockefeller Foundation. She worked on developing her idea on creating a process for community planning that embraces and engages elders for the benefit of all.

Britta Berge

Senior Advisor, Policy, Strategy, & International Affairs at AARP
Senior Advisor to Debra B. Whitman, AARP’s Executive Vice President of Policy, Strategy and International Affairs. This role is as chief of staff for Policy at AARP, which includes the development and refinement of AARP’s public policy positions; identifying and sharing best policy practices around aging issues internationally; and AARP’s internal think tank, the Public Policy Institute.

Catherina Celosse,JD

Catherina has practiced corporate law with a focus on Asia. Work experience includes six years in Jakarta, Indonesia with an Indonesian law firm (before, during and after the Asian monetary crisis), Associate General Counsel of an investment company and at law firms in New York and Hong Kong. Trained at Columbia Law School, and taught English at universities in Hangzhou and Shanghai in the 1980s following Harvard (East Asian Studies – China). Cat is also a proud graduate of New York’s Hunter College High School. Now based in Columbia Heights, DC, after a brief stint volunteering on President Obama’s 2008 campaign — the Virgina exurbs as a crash course in readjustment after 14 expat years — Cat works to execute on the oft used term ‘transparency’ as the lead for public reporting at the Office of Financial Stability (TARP), U.S. Department of the Treasury. Pastimes include scuba diving, hiking and biking.

Susan Mende, MPH

Susan Mende, M.P.H., a distinguished public health professional with more than 25 years of experience working with underserved populations in the United States, Asia and Australia, joined the Foundation in 2008. She is engaged in an RWJF national program effort to help consumers take an active role in improving the quality of health care in their communities, and works to address the adverse impacts of language barriers in limiting access to quality health care. Through her work, Mende seeks to “put people first in the health care system and give a very large voice to patients, families and community groups.”

Previously, she co-founded and was vice president for programs for the Tsao Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for older people in Singapore and Asia Pacific region. She co-developed the Foundation’s key divisions, managed community-based health service programs, and oversaw extensive staff and regional training for nurses, doctors, and other professionals. While at the Tsao Foundation, Mende served as principal consultant for the World Health Organization Age Friendly Primary Health Care Project, which sought to adapt primary care delivery systems to the needs of older clients. In addition to co-authoring the project’s report, she convened and presented at numerous national, regional, international and NGO World Assembly on Aging forums on primary health care.

Mende also developed health strategies for MBF Australia, a health care provider in Sydney, Australia, and was assistant director for Risk Management and Quality Improvement for the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, where she oversaw programs in acute and long-term care facilities.
She holds an M.P.H. from Hunter College, New York and a B.S. in nursing from San Francisco State University.

Taryn Patterson, Ph.D.

Taryn Patterson is a Policy Research Associate at the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research (CFAR), where she assists with research on the development, adoption, and support of innovative affordable housing solutions that enable seniors to age safely and successfully in their homes and communities. She is additionally involved with the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA), a global NGO that holds United Nations Economic and Social Council Special Consultative Status. She holds a doctoral degree in lifespan developmental psychology. She additionally holds graduate certificates in Public Policy and Interdisciplinary Aging Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She developed and implemented an intergenerational urban farming collaboration in Raleigh, North Carolina with an area middle school, urban farm, and Raleigh Housing Authority, which was awarded the 2013 Sir Walter Raleigh Community Award. Her relatively new interest regarding food systems and food security revolves around the role local food systems can play in fostering community capital, intergenerational interactions, sense of agency, and overall health and well-being, particularly in areas recovering from economic downturns, natural disasters, and epidemics.

Carrie Rich

Carrie Rich is the co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund. The Global Good Fund was created in December 2011 based on her belief that young people can change the world, especially when working with experienced leaders. Carrie tested this theory while teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University where she developed a Healthcare Sustainability curriculum and a book, Sustainability for Healthcare Management: A Leadership Imperative, co-authored through Routledge Publishers.
Carrie graduated with a MS in Health Systems Administration from Georgetown University, a BA from Lehigh University, and a certificate in Healthcare Quality from Harvard University. Carrie volunteers as a pro bono consultant to international nonprofits seeking business expertise and enjoys photography, other people’s cooking, and voluntary running.

Robyn I. Stone, Dr.P.H.

Robyn I. Stone, Dr.P.H., a noted researcher and internationally recognized authority on long-term care and aging policy, is Sr. VP for Research at the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and Executive Director of the Institute for the Future of Aging Services. She has held senior research and policy positions in both the U.S. government and the private sector. She was a political appointee in the Clinton Administration, serving in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Disability, Aging and Long-term Care Policy from 1993 through 1996 and as Assistant Secretary for Aging in 1997. Dr. Stone is a distinguished speaker and has been published widely in the areas of long-term care policy and quality, chronic care for the disabled, aging services workforce development and family caregiving. She serves on numerous provider and non-profit boards that focus on aging issues.

Sharyn Yorio, FSMPS

Ms. Yorio is the Director of Client Development for VJ Associates a regional construction cost consultant. Her responsibilities include the development and maintenance of clients in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania regions.
Prior to joining VJ Associates, Sharyn was the president of a marketing and management consulting firm, Sustainable Marketing, Inc. She ran the consulting practice for more than ten years with a focus on the architectural, engineering and construction communities. Each of the firm’s clients had a different market focus however more than 50% were healthcare and elder care focused. Additionally, Sharyn has held officer and board positions with her professional organization, Society for Marketing Professional Services on a local and National level.

Ann Wyatt, M.S.W.

Ann Wyatt, MSW, works in the area of long term care program development, in the area of creating living and working environments which are more person-centered. She is currently coordinating the Cobble Hill-Isabella Collaboration Project, and with the Methodist Church Home, as they all work towards transforming their facilities into more person-centered care environments. In addition, she is working as a consultant in long-term care with United Hospital Fund on their family caregiver project, Next Step in Care.

In recent years she helped to develop Independence Care System, a managed long term care plan for younger people with disabilities, one of the first in the country. Prior to that, she was Associate Director of the Office of Long Term Care, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. Earlier, as the initial Planning Director for the Village Nursing Home AIDS Project, she helped develop the first AIDS adult day health program in the country.

She was a founding Board member of the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, and is currently a Board member of CIAD, BILS, Isabella Geriatric Center, and THEA.

Ms. Wyatt has been on the Adjunct Faculty in the Milano Graduate School of the New School, spent a year as a Field Placement Advisor at Columbia University School of Social Work, and as been a Field Supervisor for graduate social work students from Columbia, Wurzweiler, and Hunter Schools of Social Work, and of the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, Department of Social Welfare.