Dr. Rodney Harrell is a researcher, blogger, international speaker and solution creator for livable communities. He is currently Director of Livability Thought Leadership at AARP and leads AARP Public Policy Institute's Livable Communities work. His research on housing preferences, neighborhood choice and community livability are integral to the world-renowned Livability Index that measures the livability of every US neighborhood, which he and his team created. He also serves as AARP's housing expert and leads the Future of Housing initiative.
Prior to joining AARP, he worked as a research and evaluation consultant, a researcher and instructor for the University of Maryland, and a Governor's Fellow in the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
Dr. Harrell was born and raised in Washington, DC and Prince George's County, Maryland, where he currently resides. He graduated summa cum laude from the honors program at Howard University; earned dual master's degrees in public affairs and urban and regional planning from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University; and received a PhD in urban planning and design from the University of Maryland, and was named to the the initial class of Top Influencers in Aging for his work.