Stephanie Krone Firestone

Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities

Areas of Expertise:
Livable communities, international and national age-friendly community efforts, dementia-friendly communities, community planning, housing, healthy aging, civic engagement, cross-cultural mediation

Stephanie Firestone joined AARP International in January 2017 as a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor for Health and Age-friendly Communities. In this role she collaborates with international organizations such as the World Health Organization, where she is the liaison between the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities and AARP’s Network of Age-friendly Communities. She also works with WHO colleagues in developing plans for the Decade of Healthy Ageing initiative (2020-2030), including ways that AARP’s experience with Disrupt Aging can inform planning for the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism. Stephanie also collaborates with organizations such as the American Planning Association (APA), the Global Planners Network, and the American Society on Aging (ASA) to advance the art of planning for aging in the U.S. and internationally. Stephanie shares and exchanges good practices with age-friendly colleagues around the world and provides consultation to cities seeking to become more age-friendly, such as The Hague in the Netherlands and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates—the first Arab city in the world to join the global age-friendly network.

Before joining AARP, Stephanie was a 2015-2016 Health & Aging Policy Fellow, where she worked with the APA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, helping local leaders think regionally about how to create more inclusive communities and to expand affordable housing opportunity for vulnerable residents in particular. Previously, as Director of Livable Communities at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Stephanie worked with Area Agencies, cities and counties to create multi-stakeholder partnerships, develop action plans and enhance their capacity to create communities that are livable for all people of all ages and abilities. Tools she has developed for local change-makers include n4a’s 2015 publication, “Making Your Community Livable for All Ages: What’s Working!,” which was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first month after publication and has been used by thousands of communities around the country.

Stephanie has advanced social and environmental sustainability both in the U.S. and overseas. She was trained in cross-cultural environmental mediation with a group of Israeli and Palestinian environmental professionals, by international dispute resolution guru Lawrence Susskind from MIT. Stephanie founded Israel’s first Jewish-Arab environmental nonprofit organization, LINK to the Environment, which brought together local and national authorities, civil society, businesses and other stakeholders to advance mutually beneficial environmental planning projects. She also coordinated the State of Israel’s participation in the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and presented at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Stephanie volunteers with a number of aging initiatives including the Dementia Friendly America National Council and the Advisory Council for the AgingWell Hub. She also served for a number of years in the capacities of hospice volunteer and volunteer birth doula. She holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Virginia and a BA in Communications from the State University of New York.

Selected publicationS

"Age-Friendly Akita City In Action."  AARP International The Journal, January 2018.

“Making Your Community Livable for All Ages: What’s Working!,” National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, 2015,