Rodney Harrell is director of Livable Communities at AARP and works to help communities serve all residents, regardless of age, income, ability, or background. He is a national leader on many issues impacting communities and shares solutions on his blog. He brings his expertise to the local community by promoting equitable development around transit stations that will benefit existing communities and new residents.
In his work for AARP’s Public Policy Institute, Harrell is an expert on housing and livable communities and is also an author, researcher, and international speaker. He and his team are focused on improving communities and are currently creating a livability index that will measure quality of life in every neighborhood across the nation. He is a member of the Prince George’s County Zoning Rewrite Technical Panel, the Largo Town Center Development Board and the board of Largo Town Center Condominiums.
Harrell was born and raised in Washington, DC, and Prince George’s County. 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, College Park, where he wrote a dissertation about the creation of majority Black neighborhoods in Prince George’s and in other communities. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.