Announcing New AFRI Director, Catherine Taylor

With the start of a new year, there are some changes at the helm of Age Friendly Rhode Island. Our Director, Jody Shue will be moving on to pursue other interests in her home state of Massachusetts.  We would like to recognize Jody’s leadership over the past few years- she has been a passionate champion for Age Friendly RI!  She has elevated the conversation on aging throughout the state, forged many new partnership with organizations, advocates and other stakeholders who share a common interest in enhancing the lives of older adults and initiated many new programs to meet the needs of older Rhode Islanders. Under her direction, the Age Friendly RI coalition has grown and an increasing number of cities and towns are moving forward to embrace age friendly practices. We will miss Jody’s energy and enthusiasm!  We wish her continued success and happiness in her new endeavors!

AFRI Welcomes New Director

We are happy to announce that Catherine Taylor has accepted the position of Director effective immediately. Catherine Taylor is an aging and dementia policy expert, seasoned administrator, and advocate for older adults and people with disabilities. She worked for the last four years as Senior Advisor for Policy, Partnerships and Community Engagement at the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience and the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center (RIGEC) at the University of Rhode Island. She continues to serve as project advisor at the U.S. Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA)-funded Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program at RIGEC. She has also worked as a clinical specialist at Seven Hills RI, consulting on a U.S. Administration for Community Living grant to make the system that serves individuals with intellectual disabilities dementia-capable. She is a Commissioner of the Rhode Island Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, and a member of the board of directors of the National Association for Geriatric Education.

Ms. Taylor, a two-time candidate for statewide office, is the former director of the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs, and former owner of a small business, LangTaylor, that specialized in strategic consulting for government, nonprofit and corporate clients. She previously served for 20 years as a legislative assistant and speechwriter for Senator John Chafee and later Senator Lincoln Chafee. Ms. Taylor is an active community volunteer, currently serving as president of the board of directors of FirstWorks and as trustee of the Church of St. Sebastian. She is a graduate of Yale University. Ms. Taylor and her husband, attorney Robert Taylor, are the parents of four children and live in Providence.

Catherine has strong ties with RIC going back many years, having guest lectured in classes and spoken at campus events on aging issues, worked closely with RIC faculty affiliated with the RI Geriatric Center, and originated the collaboration between the School of Nursing and the RI Office of Healthy Aging (formerly the RI Division of Elderly Affairs) that taps RIC nursing students as volunteer respite providers for frail elders, adults with disabilities, and children with special health care needs.

This leadership transition serves as yet another milestone in our proud history characterized by continuous learning, growth, and reflection. We are confident that Ms. Taylor will continue to bolster our strong tradition of cultivating partnerships, catalyzing change, and building community that supports and empowers Rhode Islanders as we age. Please join us in welcoming Catherine!  We look forward to a successful year ahead for Age Friendly RI.

headshot of Catherine Taylor