Chair: Silvia Perel-Levin
Representative of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and The International Longevity Centre Global Alliance (ILC GA)
Vice-Chair: Kelly G. Fitzgerald
Representative of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
Treasurer: Valerie Bichelmeier
Representative of Make Mothers Matter (MMM)
Executive Committee members (from left to right, Valerie Bichelmeier, Silvia Perel, Kelly Fitzgerald) with Ann Lindsay, Committee Representative to GAROP
Silvia has worked in different areas of community development, public health, advocacy and communication for 30 years. She has been engaged in ageing-related issues, the rights of older persons, development and global health for the last 15 years at the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Union against Cancer (UICC) and as an independent consultant in Geneva, where she has lived since 1996 and in Budapest, where she resided from 2009 to 2012.
During the years she worked at the WHO she organized in close cooperation with NGO committees global and local events including the International Day of Older Persons and World Health Day within the NGO Forum that preceded the UN Assembly on Ageing in Madrid in 2002. She managed the first multi-country study on elder abuse working with multiple partners and produced the report ‘Missing Voices, Views of Older Persons on Elder Abuse’. This led her to pursue graduate MSc studies at City University London in Society Violence and Interprofessional Practice and adapted her dissertation on elder abuse for a WHO publication.
Currently, Silvia represents the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance at the UN in Geneva. An expert advocate for Elder Abuse and the rights of older persons at the global level, she is the Chair of the NGO Ageing Committee Geneva and engages in research on elder abuse and violence against older women.
Kelly has been active in the field of gerontology since 2001. In 2004 and 2008 she received her Masters of Science and PhD, respectively, in Gerontology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Professionally, she is a Faculty member of the Center for Gerontology at Western Kentucky University where she teaches online graduate and undergraduate gerontology courses and supports various research projects. She is also a Guest Scientist at the Center for Gerontology at the University of Zurich where she supports various projects. Recently she completed research contracts for the Public Health Agency of Canada and was the Network Coordinator for an ageing research network in Wales.
She has worked with the World Health Organization and provided support to help cities apply to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities, link cities with other cities, and identify ways in which cities can become more age-friendly. Currently she is the Co-Chair for the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s (AGHE) Global Aging Committee. She has held several other leadership positions in different ageing organizations including the Gerontological Society of America and the British Society of Gerontology. She has presented on ageing topics in several different countries. She has also conducted research and has published mainly on the topics of disasters and older adults and age-friendly cities.
Kelly has been involved in UN ageing activities since 2010. She began as an NGO representative for the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) (2010 – 2012) and currently (since 2012) represents the International Federation on Ageing. During this time she has attended various UN meetings including meetings of the Committee on Ageing and the 2012 UNECE Ministerial Conference in Vienna. In May 2014 she was elected as Vice-Chair for the UN NGO Committee on Ageing in Geneva.