Founded in 1990 by world-renowned gerontologist Robert N. Butler, the International Longevity Center (ILC) was formed to educate individuals on how to live longer and better, and advise society on how to maximize the benefits of today's longer lifespans.
Never before have people enjoyed the life expectancy beyond age 80 that is becoming commonplace in countries all around the world. With these extra years come many challenges to ensure that people are living not only longer lives, but rich lives filled with purpose and good health that benefit all generations and society at large.
The ILC has taken the lead in helping individuals, corporations, foundations, and government leaders to navigate this unprecedented increase in longevity through original research, scientific workshops, educational publications, and corporate and government relations.
Under the late Dr. Butler's leadership, the New York-based ILC has long been part of a multinational consortium of ILC centers in the U.S., Japan, Great Britain, France, Dominican Republic, India, South Africa, Argentina, the Netherlands, Israel, Czech Republic and Singapore. From the vantage point of their national experience, each of these ILC centers studies how greater life expectancy and the growing percentage of older persons in a population impact the culture, the economy, and the social fabric, and advocates for improved societal policies for an aging world.
Honoring the wishes of Dr. Butler and in keeping with his longstanding commitment and generosity to Columbia University, the mission, work, and the assets of the ILC will become the foundation for an interdisciplinary center on longevity and aging at Columbia University, anchored at the Mailman School of Public Health.
The new center will grow to serve as a research and educational hub for understanding and addressing issues in science, policy, and practice related to healthy aging and the larger implications for society of a longer life span. The center will train a new generation of thought leaders in these issues, while also developing knowledge to inform aging-related health and social policy in New York City, the U.S., and globally.