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School of Social Welfare Dean Named President of National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

Katharine Briar-Lawson
Katharine Briar-Lawson

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 28, 2005) --University at Albany School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson was elected president of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD) at their annual meeting this past month.

Since 2001, she has co-chaired the NADD Gerontological Task Force, which is advancing Medicaid financing strategies for social work education in aging and is collaboratively spearheading the development of a NADD Leadership Academy.

Briar-Lawson has distinguished herself as an experienced academic administrator and national expert on family preservation, child and family policy, the world of work, and other social work issues. She is a national leader among deans and directors of social work in promoting a strategic outreach agenda focused on vulnerable populations, especially children, families, and the elderly. Furthermore, she has facilitated the development of a statewide consortium of university-based social work education programs in support of a unified research and professional development initiative for public sector child and family service systems. In addition to her distinguished academic career at the University at Albany, Utah State University, University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran University, and Florida International University, she served as assistant secretary for Children, Youth, and Families within the Department of Social and Health Services in the state of Washington.

Briar-Lawson has spearheaded university-community partnerships and family and interprofessional collaboration in more than 40 states. In addition, she developed award winning demonstration projects involving parent empowerment, school-based services, and school reform. She has contributed to the social work field by writing or co-writing numerous books, book chapters, monographs, conference proceedings, and papers, including Charting the Impacts of University-Child Welfare Collaboration; Evaluation Research in Child Welfare; Expanding Partnerships for Vulnerable Children, Youth and Families; Social Work and the Unemployed; and Family Centered Policies and Practices: International Implications.

UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare is ranked second in per capita scholarly productivity among the social work programs in the nation. The School’s mission is to further social and economic justice and to serve people who are vulnerable, marginalized or oppressed. This mission is implemented through education, knowledge development and service that promotes leadership for evidence-based social work with a global perspective. As a recognized national and international leader in developing innovative and creative programs, along with facilitating public-private partnerships, the School has been able to attract premier students, providing them with an unsurpassed educational experience at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level.


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