Program Administration

Pamela  A. Saunders, Program Director

Pamela A. Saunders, Ph.D.

Program Director
Director of Graduate Studies



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Program Coordinator


Our World-Renowned Faculty

Profile Picture of Andrew Carle

Andrew Carle
Adjunct Faculty

Andrew Carle serves as Adjunct Faculty and Lead Instructor for courses within the Senior Living Administration concentration. Prior to Georgetown University, Mr. Carle served as an award-winning professor and Founding Director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University, in Fairfax, VA.

Mr. Carle has more than 30 years of executive level senior housing and healthcare experience, including serving as Chief Operating Officer for a national Top-10 senior housing provider with nearly 100 communities, as a founding executive and Vice President for another Top-10 senior living provider, and as a CEO, COO, and Director of Strategic Planning & Marketing for hospitals and vertically integrated healthcare systems.

Judy Feder is a Professor of public policy and, from 1999 to 2008, served as dean of what is now the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A nationally-recognized leader in health policy, Judy has made her mark on the nation’s health insurance system, through both scholarship and public service. A widely published scholar, Judy’s health policy research began at the Brookings Institution, continued at the Urban Institute, and, since 1984, flourished at Georgetown University. In the late 1980s, Judy moved from policy research to policy leadership, actively promoting effective health reform as staff director of the congressional Pepper Commission (chaired by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV) in 1989-90; principal deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services in former President Bill Clinton’s first term; a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (2008-2011) and, today, as an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute. Judy matches her own contributions to policy with her contributions to nurturing emerging policy leaders. As dean from 1999 to 2008, she built Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute into one of the nation’s leading public policy schools, whose graduates participate in policymaking, policy research, and policy politics, not only throughout Washington but throughout the nation and the world. Judy is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance; a former chair and board member of AcademyHealth; a member of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Board, the Board of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Hamilton Project’s Advisory Council; and a senior advisor to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. In 2006 and 2008, Judy was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 10th congressional district. Judy is a political scientist, with a B.A. from Brandeis University, and a master's and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Robert Friedland, Associate Professor

Robert Friedland, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Systems Administration. Friedland has had a wide range of research and public policy experience, including Chief Economist for Maryland's Medicaid program; Senior Research Associate at the Employee Benefit Research Institute; Director of the American Association of Retired Person's Public Policy Institute; Research Director, National Academy of Social Insurance; and Economist on the staff of the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care, better known as the Pepper Commission. Friedland founded the National Academy on an Aging Society, and directed the Center on an Aging Society at Georgetown University. Friedland is Chair of the board of the National Academy for State Health Policy, a Commissioner on The American Bar Association, Commission on Law and Aging, on the Board of the Health Assistance Partnership, and the Editorial Board of Aging Toda

Irene Jillson

Irene Jillson, PH.D.
Associate Professor

is an Associate Professor, and teaches in the School of Nursing and Health Studies (NHS), School of Medicine and the School of Foreign Service. She has designed and launched courses in global health ethics, global health systems and politics and global health research. She also teaches medical ethics, graduate and undergraduate health research, and physician role and behavior. Dr. Jillson, who has a PhD in technology policy and management from Westminster University, was founder and President of Policy Research Incorporated, a private research firm that carried out local, national and international health and social policy research studies for more than 25 years.

Pamela Sounders , Associate Professor

Pamela A. Saunders, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

is an Associate Professor in the departments of neurology and psychiatry. Dr. Saunders is the founding director of the Aging & Health master's degree program. With a doctorate in sociolinguistics from Georgetown University, her research focuses on elder financial fraud, linguistic expressions of empathy, doctor/older patient communication, narrative and reflective writing, and medical education. Her research portfolio includes funding from the District of Columbia, Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking, the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Institute on Aging, the Hartford Foundation, the Association for Standardized Patient Educators, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She has served in several leadership roles including: chief course director of the Doctoring Curriculum, communications curriculum course director, and clerkship director of the geriatrics clerkship. She has served on numerous committees: Georgetown University Medical Center’s Committee on Medical Education, Committee on Appointments and Promotions. She co-founded the geriatrics curriculum at the GU School of Medicine with funding from the Hartford Foundation. In addition, she teaches theories and perspectives of gerontology, qualitative research methods, reflective writing, and Mind Body Medicine skills to medical and graduate students.

Jason Tilan, Assistant Professor

Jason Tilan, Ph.D.
associate Professor

is an Associate Professor, Department of Human Science. M.S., Ph.D. in Physiology & Biophysics at Georgetown University, and postdoctoral studies in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology at Georgetown University Medical Center, focusing on pediatric malignancies, Ewing Sarcoma and neuroblastoma, and stress physiology. His research is focused on the vascular mechanisms underlying tumor progression and, in particular, the role of platelets in regulating these processes.

is a Professor in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Most of Weinstein's work explores the behavioral and biological dimensions of reproduction and aging. She is currently working on two research projects that are funded by the NIH. The first explores the reciprocal relations among stress, health, and the social environment among the elderly in Taiwan. The second is a follow-up study of midlife in the United States. Both studies include a wide range of self-reported data and biomarkers. Weinstein’s most recent edited volume is "Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography."

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Sonya Barsness, M.S.
Adjunct Faculty 

Is Adjunct Faculty in the Aging & Health master's degree program. Sonya is a gerontologist with 25 years of professional experience in the field of aging. Her passion and vocation is changing the culture of aging so that we can all age meaningfully, in community, wherever we live and with whatever physical and cognitive challenges we face.

She is the founder of Sonya Barsness Consulting (SBC), a multidimensional company that provides a variety of products and services to promote a different way of thinking about growing older and growing with dementia. SBC's focus is on applied paradigm shifting, beginning with the lived experience of people growing older and growing with dementia and bringing these perspectives to life so that education, research, policy, and practice truly reflect what is important to elders, people with dementia, and those who care for them.

She has served elders and their care partners in assisted living, nursing homes, and home- and community-based settings. Sonya is a nationally recognized educator on person-centered thinking related to aging, long-term care, and dementia. She is a co-developer of CMS’ Hand in Hand toolkit, a series of training modules for nurse aides on person-centered dementia care and the prevention of abuse. She is also the voice of Being Heard, a blog about revising the paradigm of aging ( Sonya’s undergraduate degree is in Psychology with minors in Biology and Gerontology. Her master’s degree is in Gerontology with a concentration in Psychogeriatrics. Sonya teaches the Psychology of Aging.