NASW Pioneers Biography Index

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is pleased to present the NASW Social Work Pioneers®. NASW Pioneers are social workers who have explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers. Some are well known, while others are less famous outside their immediate colleagues, and the region where they live and work. But each one has made an important contribution to the social work profession, and to social policies through service, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, or legislation.

All of these social workers are honored in the NASW Pioneer Room at the National Office in Washington, D.C. The NASW Pioneers have paved the way for thousands of other social workers to contribute to the betterment of the human condition; and they are are role models for future generations of social workers. The NASW Foundation has made every effort to provide accurate Pioneer biographies.  Please contact us at to provide missing information, or to correct inaccurate information. It is very important to us to correctly tell these important stories and preserve our history.  Please note, an asterisk attached to a name reflects Pioneers who have passed away. All NASW Social Work Pioneers® Bios are Copyright © 2018 National Association of Social Workers Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
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Azile Howard Aaron* (1897-1980)
Ann A. Abbott
Edith Abbott* (1876-1957)
Grace Abbott* (1878-1939)
Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, MSW
Barry Adams
Bess Adams* (1893-1985)
Frankie Adams * (1902-1979)
Margaret E. Adams*
Opal Adams*
Jane Addams* (1860-1935)
Rafael Aguirre (1937- )
Frederick L. Ahearn, Jr.
Ronald Aldridge
Chauncey A. Alexander* (1916-2005)
Ada McCrakan Allen* (1902-1996)
Frances Marion Allen* (1908-1997)
Josephine A. V. Allen
Margaret Allen*
Glenn S. Allison* (1925-2007)
Jeane Anastas
Delwin M. Anderson* (1916-2007)
Joseph P. Anderson* (1910-1979)
Hermila Anzaldua
Mildred Arnold* (1901-1996)
Arnold Auerbach* (1911-1996)
David M. Austin* (1923-2008 )
Helen Cloud Austin
Kittye Clyde Austin* (1900-1990)
Lucille Austin* ( -1977)
Mary Austin* (1894-1988)
Sarah Young Austin* (1927-2015)
Sonia Grace Austrian* (1933-2008)

Newly Inducted NASW Social Work Pioneer Hortense McClinton 2015

Nominate A New NASW Pioneer

Completed NASW Pioneer nominations can be submitted throughout the year and are reviewed at the December Pioneer Steering Committee Meeting. To be considered at the December meeting, submit your nomination package by November 1. To learn more, visit our Pioneer nomination guidelines.