December 17, 2020---John Haaga, former Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), was presented with the 2020 PAA Excellence in Public Service Award (Executive Branch category) by PAA President Eileen Crimmins. The presentation took place virtually—over 7 months later than originally planned, due to the Covid pandemic—with several PAA leaders and former colleagues of Haaga’s in attendance via Zoom.
Haaga was cited for his role in expanding programs that support population research at the NIA, which required allocating full staffing resources and advocating about the importance of population research within the NIA. Under Haaga’s leadership, the Division launched new initiatives and center programs and expanded data collection activities crucial to the population sciences. Dr. Haaga’s tenure at NIA was the capstone on a distinguished career that included stints as Director of the Committee on Population Statistics at the National Academy of Sciences and Vice President, Domestic Programs, at the Population Reference Bureau.
Dr. Barbara Torrey, who was a mentor of Dr. Haaga’s and participated in the presentation, described his many contributions to the field of population research, and the esteem in which his colleagues hold him. Torrey noted that Haaga was also self-effacing, remarking that “John never knew his own value.”
These days Haaga is valuing the time that retirement affords him to focus on his grandchildren. The PAA community, meanwhile, is delighted to finally have the opportunity to express how much we value John Haaga’s many contributions over a remarkable career.#latest-news#public-service-award