The Catholic University of America

History of the Center on Global Aging

Guided by principles of the social work profession, the Center on Global Aging promotes excellence in the development of knowledge, policy, leadership, and practice that protects and enhances the quality of life of older adults worldwide. COGA dedicates its efforts to fostering productive, meaningful, and vital lives for all older adults globally. COGA embraces social work advocacy, ethics, and values with emphasis on person-centered practice and respect for diversity. The Center's current focus is on preventing elder abuse and protecting the rights of older persons.

The Center was founded in 1996 by Dr. Daniel Thursz, the Cardinal O'Boyle Professor of Social Work, who remained the Center director until his untimely death in 2000. Current Center leadership includes William Rainford,Center Director; William Benson, Chairman of the Board; and distinguished Board of Advisors David Baldridge; Robert Connolly; Dr. John Kenney; Faith Mullen; Kathleen Quinn; Deb Rubenstein; and Dr. Janet Selway.
The Center is indebted to its immediate past chair, the late William Bechill, for his invaluable insights and contributions. COGA has also received invaluable support from Mrs. Hadassah Thursz and recent fromer Advisory Board members Dr. Mildred Reynolds, Daniel Wilson, and Dr. Bing Chen.
The Center’s Board of Advisors meet throughout the year to advise on program and research directions and to provide oversight. COGA encourages the work of NCSSS students through its annual Best Aging Paper or Project Awards for BSW and MSW students. The Center hosts Fulbright Scholars and volunteer Center Fellows, who work with the Director and Board on education, research, and community projects.
For more information about the Center please contact Will C. Rainford, Center Director, and Dean, NCSSS, at or 202-319-5454.