Dr. Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, is a global leader in the fields of epidemiology and geriatrics who has dedicated her career to the science of healthy aging and creating the knowledge needed for transition to a world where greater longevity benefits people of all ages. An internationally renowned scientist, she has done seminal work in defining frailty as a medical syndrome and illuminating its causes and the potential for prevention as keys to optimizing health for older adults.
Under Fried's visionary leadership, the Mailman School continues to be a leader in transforming the health of populations and is ranked among the top five U.S. schools of public health. Fried led the School to build the nation's first program in a school of public health on climate and health; on prevention of mass incarceration; and GRAPH, a multidisciplinary program that delivers economic evidence on the value of prevention and the approaches to create the most health at the lowest cost for all. Under Fried's leadership, the School opened the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center, the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, Columbia Population Health Partnerships, the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, the Program in Global Health Justice and Governance, and elevated Columbia's leadership role in research, policy and programming to create healthy cities. She led the creation of an innovative interdisciplinary public health curriculum that emphasizes a life-course approach to prevention of disease, injury and disability and the systems to accomplish it. As dean, Fried is invited annually to participate in the World Economic Forum and remains a highly cited expert in policy and practice for creating healthier societies that benefit all, from the youngest to the oldest.
Before coming to Columbia in 2008 as Dean of the Mailman School, Fried was the Mason F. Lord Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. She founded and led the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, the Center of Excellence for Aging research across the school’s of medicine, public health and nursing, directed the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, and held joint appointments in the schools of medicine, public health, and nursing.
Fried is also the designer and co-founder of Experience Corps, high impact senior volunteer program, in which older adults serve in public schools, and an evidence-based health promotion program for the older volunteers. The program is now in over 20 cities under the auspices of AARP. Acting as tutors, mentors, and coaches, the older volunteers help boost students' academic success while bolstering their own health through carefully designed roles, continued activity and engagement. Under Fried’s leadership, an ongoing evaluation of this innovative public health intervention has shown its effectiveness in improving health outcomes and preventing cognitive decline among older adults, while improving child literacy, academic success, and school climate– providing evidence for the potential win-wins of an aging society.
Fried is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the 2018 Crain’s and The 2016 Inserm International Prize in Medical Research. A short video of Dean Fried's work was presented at the awards ceremony. Watch it here. Other honors include Fondation IPSEN's 2012 Longevity Prize and the Alliance for Aging Research's inaugural 2011 "Silver Innovator Award” and their 2012 Silver Scholar Award. In 2004, the U.S. Congress named her a Living Legend in Medicine. In 2012, Fried was also profiled by The New York Times as one of 15 world leaders in science. Global publisher Thomson Reuters named her "one of the top percent of the most influential scientific minds of the past decade” in 2014.
Fried is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences' National Academy of Medicine, and elected to serve on its executive council. Fried served as the 2016-17 President of the Association of American Physicians, the elected society of the U.S.'s leading physician scientists. She was the second dean of a School of Public Health to be President of AAP, the first being William Henry Welch in 1904. She is a member of the MacArthur Research Network on an Aging Society and the Milken Institute's Center for the Future of Aging. An elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Fried is also co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on the Future of Human Enhancement.