NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Maria Elena Girone
Maria Elena Girone has been with the Puerto Rican Family Institute (PRFI) in New York City for more than 20 years and is currently President and CEO. Her efforts at institutional development and empowerment have resulted in a 10-fold growth in the organization's budget and an expansion of programs to serve the Latino community, including six Manhattan-based programs, a Head Start Program in Brooklyn, and a day treatment program for severely emotionally-disturbed adolescents. These programs complement the agency’s three residences, four mental health clinics, and five preventive programs.
Prior to arriving at PRFI, Girone was director of the Manhattan Mental Health Clinic. She was responsible for overall administration and supervision of this treatment program and converted the clinic to a New York City Department of Mental Health funded program.
She was a professor of social work at the University of Puerto Rico in the early 1970’s as well as a social practitioner and program supervisor. She also was district supervisor at the Department of Social Welfare in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
Girone earned her MSW at the University of Puerto Rico in 1965 and her BA from the same institution in 1963.
Significant Achievements and Awards
2010: Angel Award from the New York Theological Seminary
2003: Named one of 80 Elite Hispanic Women by HispanicBusiness.com