2024 IA Conference

“Global Population Aging”

Sunday, July 21-Sunday, July 28

Around the world, people are living longer than ever before and having fewer children than ever before.  This causes global population aging: populations with more older people and fewer younger people over time.  The United Nations has identified these changes as one of the megatrends that will shape our world in the coming decades.  Join us to learn about these patterns and what they mean for our economies, politics, and societies, and how countries are adapting to the opportunities and challenges of older populations.


Jennifer D. Sciubba, Ph.D

Jennifer D. Sciubba, Ph.D., is one of the foremost experts in the field of political demography. Her work argues that a deeper understanding of fertility, mortality, and migration trends points us toward the investments we need to make today to shape the future we want tomorrow, the central theme of her latest book, 8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World (W.W. Norton 2022). She works to educate the broader public about the importance of population trends by translating research for readers of The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, The Washington Post, and on the TED stage, among other places, in addition to publishing policy-relevant research in numerous scholarly articles and edited books.

Dr. Sciubba is affiliated with the Wilson Center and the Hess Center for New Frontiers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, both in Washington, DC. She is formerly a tenured professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. Dr. Sciubba has studied at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, and served as a demographics consultant to the US Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy). Dr. Sciubba is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Council on Foreign Relations and is Vice-Chair of the board of the Population Reference Bureau. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Maryland and her B.A. from Agnes Scott College.You can find links to her research, publications, and talks at http://jennifersciubba.com.

Dr. Marlene Lee

Dr. Marlene Lee is an associate vice president in International Programs at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). At PRB, her focus is on economic development, education, and women’s empowerment. She is currently technical director of PRB’s research translation collaboration with NORC for the USAID Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) and PRB’s collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley on Counting Women’s Work. She has worked with academics, policymakers, and members of civil society from every region of the world, including extensive experience in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Dr. Lee previously worked at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and at Louisiana State University, as well as for the United States Peace Corps and as an independent research consultant. She holds advanced degrees with specializations in public policy and administration, family demography, and community development.  She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her B.A. from Yale University.

Dr. Julie Sweetland

Dr. Julie Sweetland is a sociolinguist and a senior advisor at the FrameWorks Institute, a nonprofit that equips change-makers to lead productive public conversations on scientific and social issues. FrameWorks’ unique approach to culture and communications research shapes public discourse across the nation and around the world. Their impact was recognized in 2015 with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, otherwise known as the “organizational genius grant.”

Since joining FrameWorks in 2012, Dr. Sweetland has designed and led strategic reframing initiatives on issues like climate change, health equity, childhood adversity, and ageism. Her skill in translating framing research into communications strategy has helped advocates, policymakers, and scientists drive social change. Dr. Sweetland is a first-generation college student, a graduate of Georgetown University, and earned her MA and PhD in linguistics at Stanford University.

Anthony Kuhn is NPR’s correspondent based in Seoul, South Korea, reporting on the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and the great diversity of Asia’s countries and cultures. He has covered major stories in the region, including the North Korean nuclear crisis, Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster, the Beijing Olympics, geopolitical jousting in the South China Sea, and the lives of Tibetans, Uighurs, and other minorities in China’s borderlands.  Previously, he has reported for NPR from postings in Jakarta and London. His reporting has made a vital contribution to our understanding of many of the most important political, social, and economic changes in Asia and around the world.

Prior to joining NPR, Kuhn wrote for the Far Eastern Economic Review and freelanced for various news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek. He majored in French literature as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, and later did graduate work at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American studies in Nanjing.

Sarah Tom

Sarah Tom is a demographer and epidemiologist who studies the role of social determinants and women’s health in aging.  Her recent work focuses on cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s Disease, taking a life course approach to understand how experiences starting in early life through adulthood may influence health in older adulthood.  She is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Epidemiology and the Sergievsky Center at Columbia University.  Sarah teaches a short introduction to demography to all first year master of public health students and a neuroepidemiology course at the Mailman School of Public Health. 

Romesh Silva

Romesh Silva is the Chair of the International Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) Scientific Panel on Registers, Ethics and Human Rights. He is the guest editor of the Genus thematic series on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS). He is also the technical lead at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)  Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems and leads UNFPA’s work on population estimation in humanitarian settings. He is based at the New York headquarters of UNFPA.

Minister of the Week

Rev. Shayna Appel

At the heart of Shayna’s ministry is a deep desire to equip, encourage, and empower folks to be spirited builders of the Beloved Community. In her preaching, she seeks to blend the pastoral with the prophetic, the work of the spirit with a healthy dose of the subversive, and no small amount of humor, which she believes is nourishment for the soul. Shayna lives in Milford, NH, with her canine companion Arlo.

Rev. Shayna Appel (she/them) is an old Shoaler and a fairly new retiree from 23 years of parish ministry in both the UUA and the UCC. She has co-led youth conferences on Star Island for Star Gathering I & II, LOAS, and IA and was honored as well to serve as Minister of the Week for Star Gathering I. Out of her love for Star Island and maybe a momentary lapse of sanity, she signed up last summer to be an End of Season Pelican and survived!