Anabel Pelham, Ph.D.

Anabel Pelham, Ph.D.

Anabel Pelham, Ph.D. is an Emerita professor and founding director of the Gerontology Program at San Francisco State University, and its founding director. She enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor at SF State for nearly thirty five years, and retired in 2013.

Dr. Pelham is the President of the National Association of Professional Gerontologists (NAPG), and Founding Director of the Center for Age-Friendly Excellence (CAFE),, a project of the Los Altos Community Foundation, and a past member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. CAFE provides technical assistance to cities and communities to become AARP/World Health Organization (WHO) Age-Friendly. Dr. Pelham is also a member of the board of directors of the Oregon Gerontological Association (OGA) ,, past president of the Board of Directors of the Council on Aging, Central Oregon,, past president of the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics (CCGG) and an active member of GSA, CAG and IAGG. She is a former Chair of the Senior Commission for the City of Los Altos/Los Altos Hills, where she led the successful initiative to make Los Altos and Los Altos Hills the first WHO certified Age-Friendly (City and Town) in California.

Dr. Pelham has expertise in global issues in aging and gerontology, Age-Friendly Cities and community development, community-based health and human services, qualitative research methods, graduate gerontology curriculum development, geriatric care management, life-long learning, and credentialing and accreditation in the field of gerontology. She advises doctoral students around the world.

Dr. Pelham’s current interests are: creating Age-Friendly Cities and communities, professionalizing the discipline of Gerontology and compassion as a core value in aging. She is an advisor for Empower and Excel, and she recently contributed a chapter to: Creating Compassionate Communities: The Intersection of Resilience, Democracy and Age-Friendliness, in Sharing Compassion, Rainsford Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2018.

Dr. Pelham lives in Bend Oregon and joyfully applies Gerontology around the world.

As the recipient of critical scholarship support from donors during her own experience as a student, Dr. Pelham established this scholarship to encourage its recipients to remain steadfast in their pursuit of higher education regardless of the challenges they might face.