NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
David G. French
David French became Assistant Executive Secretary to the American Association of Social Work, where he served until 1952. He edited the journal Social Work (formerly called The Compass) and managed the publications program. With the merger of social work organizations to form NASW, French served as a member of the new board.
In the early 1950’s, working for the Russell Sage Foundation, French was sent to Ann Arbor, Michigan to strengthen the link between the social sciences and social work. He spent six years at the University of Michigan, working closely with faculty member Wilbur Cohen (who was later Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and an NASW Pioneer). French's work helped create several specializations at the University of Michigan, including in medical and psychiatric social work.
French was also responsible with Charles Schottland for launching the Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare at Brandeis University.
After years of academic work, French joined the United Nations and became involved in international social welfare issues. He served eight years in Bangladesh, Thailand, South Korea, and at U.N. headquarters.
David French earned his DSW at the University of Michigan in 1960 and his MSW from Columbia University in 1943.
French, D.G. (1964). Needed research on social work manpower with particular reference to program areas for which the federal government has responsibility: Report to the Task Force on Social Work Education and Manpower. Washington, DC: The Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
French, D.G. et al. (1952). An approach to measuring results in social work: A report on the Michigan Reconnaissance Study of Evaluative Research in Social Work, sponsored by the Michigan Welfare League. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.