National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence
J Taylor Harden started her professional journey as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and quickly transitioned to the U.S. Air Force as a flight nurse. As a medical crew director she completed several patient air evacuation missions and is a Vietnam era-veteran. Upon completion of honorable service with the military, Dr. Harden advanced as a tenured associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). She was the first and only faculty member to participate in the competitive NIH Extramural Associates (EA) Program. The program was established to produce a cadre of academic research administrators and leaders to promote the participation of institutions with high ethnic minority student enrollments in rigorous biomedical and behavioral research programs. Following her tenure at the UTHSCSA and prior to the GSA, Dr. Harden was a senior scientist and administrator at the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute of Nursing Research and the Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Initiative at the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). At the NIA, Dr. Harden was the first and only nurse to serve as both NIA Assistant to the Director for Special Populations (1997 – 2011) and Acting Deputy Director (January – October, 2008). During her nearly 15-year tenure at NIA, she helped transform minority aging research across the Institute and led the premiere NIA Summer Institute on Aging Research, which celebrated 25 years of excellence in 2011, training over 1,000 early career scientists. At the AAN, she was pivotal in the leadership and establishment of the national Nurse Leader in Aging Award. Dr. Harden is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute (FEI), a management and training center for senior leaders in the U.S. Government. She serves on the National Advisory Committees for the RWJF ENL and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Gerontological Society of America, and the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Harden earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in nursing, where she was honored as a Distinguished Alumna in 2010.