News & Media

Bold Journey Magazine: Meet Lisa Ireland

Read the full interview by Bold Journey here.

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Lisa Ireland a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Hi Lisa, really happy you were able to join us today and we’re looking forward to sharing your story and insights with our readers. Let’s start with the heart of it all – purpose. How did you find your purpose?

My journey in the nonprofit sector began with a personal connection to Hospice of Orleans, where I experienced firsthand the compassionate care provided to my parents at the end of their lives. This ignited my passion for nonprofit work and underscored the sector’s importance in providing essential services to those in need.

I believe in the transformative power of philanthropy, and I am committed to connecting donors with organizations they wish to support. I am deeply dedicated to upholding the mission of the organizations I serve, viewing it as a guiding principle that informs my decisions and actions.

As a leader, I find purpose in supporting my team members’ professional growth, understanding that their success contributes to the overall success of our mission. Each nonprofit I have worked for holds personal significance to me, which, in turn, has helped me make meaningful contributions to their cause.

My nonprofit work has been shaped by personal experiences, dedication to mission-driven work and a commitment to supporting my team members and the organizations I serve.

Let’s take a small detour – maybe you can share a bit about yourself before we dive back into some of the other questions we had for you?

My journey began with a communications degree and a political science minor, but my career trajectory soon veered toward philanthropy.

The notion of healthy aging, free from debilitating age-related illnesses, appeals to me, as it does with many. My parents, friends and other people I have met throughout my life could have lived longer, healthier lives if the research on biological aging was not as underfunded and more life-saving treatments and therapies were available.

Almost two years ago, I was presented with an opportunity to lead the Longevity Science Foundation (LSF), a global nonprofit dedicated to extending human lifespan. The LSF supports groundbreaking research in the field of aging science, aiming to bring more life-saving interventions from the laboratory into the real world, enhancing the overall human lifespan. We want to fund actionable solutions that will help advance the field forward and democratize the otherwise inaccessible field of longevity medicine. The idea of accessibility resonates with me deeply, and I was happy to join the LSF as its inaugural president and CEO and lead its global operations.

I know how important it is to deliver our message of supporting research that helps live longer and healthier lives. Information accessibility is paramount, and a large portion of my work goes towards amplifying our public presence and advancing the exposure of longevity science globally.

I enjoy engaging with a wide range of audiences and stakeholders in various sectors internationally and connecting individuals who share a passion for eradicating the burdens of unhealthy aging with the opportunities to support relevant initiatives. Recently, I had the privilege of delivering a keynote address and leading a panel at the U.S. Library of Congress, where we addressed the convergence of neural health and longevity. I’ve spoken at several prestigious institutions, including King’s College London and the University of Oxford, leveraging these opportunities to galvanize increased support for research on healthy aging. The enthusiasm I witness is inspiring, making me optimistic about our ability to create meaningful change and reshape the trajectory of healthy aging and healthcare.

If you had to pick three qualities that are most important to develop, which three would you say matter most?

When in a leadership position, possessing certain qualities is critical to leading effectively and therefore achieving team success. First, as a leader, you need to provide autonomy to each member of your team to do their job and believe and trust them to do that work. It is about providing support whenever needed without getting in the way. Second, recognize your team for the work they do. I think this was huge as it provides a lot of motivation. Finally, be an advocate for your team’s work. Always willing to bat for them and fight for the resources needed.

In terms of the type of advice I would give others on how to develop these qualities, what comes to mind first is to work on developing strong listening skills. Active listening is a critical communication skill as it involves paying full attention to the other person’s verbal and non-verbal cues as well as asking questions and providing feedback. When it comes to leadership, it all starts there. If you know how to listen, you can build solid relationships.

Okay, so before we go we always love to ask if you are looking for folks to partner or collaborate with?

We are eager to connect with anyone interested in healthy aging and longevity science.

The LSF collaborates closely with a diverse group of leading institutions and organizations. Aging science is an exceptionally broad, all-encompassing field, and we look forward to broadening our network to include more leaders from different sectors, including philanthropy.

However, our doors remain open to anyone who wants to contribute to advancing aging research in any capacity. I encourage readers to contact us if you want to explore potential synergies, help make longevity medicine more accessible and connect with the key opinion leaders in biotechnology and longevity science.
The LSF in the News