Helen R. Hamlin has represented the International Federation on Ageing at the United Nations since 1991. She served there as Chair of the Non-Governmental Committee on Ageing from 1997 until 2003, and she continues to serve on the Executive Committee.
Ms. Hamlin was instrumental in the Committee’s involvement, along with the Division for Social Policy of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in the development of the conceptual framework for the 1999 International Year of Older Persons. During preparations for the Second World Assembly on Ageing, she was a member of the International Planning Committee for the parallel NGO World Forum and represented the NGO community in addressing an Assembly plenary session.
Ms. Hamlin was an observer during the preparations for the Berlin Regional Implementation Strategy and participated in planning the NGO response to that meeting, held in Berlin in September 2002. She is currently a member of the Economic Commission for Europe International Task Force to implement the Berlin document.
Ms. Hamlin received her Master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work. She has been a social worker for nearly seventy years, specializing in gerontology for the past forty years. She has held positions in a variety of agencies, including Director of Social Services in a multi-service community-based agency. After retirement, she became the Project Director of an inter-generational junior high school project, for which she was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Ms. Hamlin has been an adjunct lecturer and a field supervisor in social work at York College of the City University of New York. She has developed and presented educational programs for agency staff and community groups on homecare services, caregiving, and advocacy development. In the 1970s, she served as Chair of the New York Citizens’ Committee on Aging for four years. She is a founding member and Vice President of an organization which promotes self-advocacy for older persons, and developed an assisted living apartment house in New York City. She is on the boards of several social agencies devoted to services for older people, and she is a founding member of a statewide multigenerational organization.
Ms. Hamlin has published articles on a variety of topics related to gerontology in national and international journals. She is a Fellow of the Brookdale Center on Aging at Hunter College of the City of New York. In 2003, she received the State Society on Aging President’s Award for her work.