NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Facundo B. Valdez (1932- )
Valdez was born in Mona, New Mexico. He earned a BA from New Mexico Highlands University in 1958, a Master's degree in History from New Mexico Highlands University, and a Master in Social Work from the University of Denver in 1963. Valdez's major pioneering effort was in establishing and working in New Mexico Highlands University to establish, first a bachelors degree in social work, and later, a masters degree in social work. He was a pioneer leader in recruiting native American and Hispanic faculty and recruiting students from the northern part of New Mexico. He worked at the University of New Mexico Highlands from 1972 to June 1979.
Prior to his work with the University, Valdez worked in various programs. He was the director of the Special Service Program Institute for Social Research and Development at the University of New Mexico and developed a special academic tutoring and counseling for high risk students at UNM. He worked for a year at the Home Education Livelihood Program as director of the community school concept. From December 1965 to August 1970 he worked as the assistant director at the University of New Mexico community development program providing consultive services in community action services. In August 1965 he worked with the Council of Churches migrant programs financed by OEO. He worked in the New Mexico welfare department of Taos as the director.
In 1981, he became the executive director of Santa De Cristo Community mental health services and was responsible for establishing mental health services and for contracting with the federal and state government to deliver mental health services in a 7 county district. As the initial director, he was responsible for the planning and implementation of comprehensive community mental health services. The program is still in operation. He returned to teach until 1987 as professor of social work at New Mexico Highlands University. He taught various courses at the University, including community development and mental health planning and management. He was responsible for many workshops and conferences on rural community mental health. He worked extensively with native American groups in New Mexico and for a period of 3 years was coordinator of field instruction on internship programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Valdez has been a consultant on rural problems for the national VISTA Program and the Child Development Program, consultant to rural community development, University of Oklahoma and also the University of Colorado. He is a founding member of the National Council of La Raza, an organization set up to deal with problems of Mexican Americans in areas of economic development and business enterprises. He has had many other consultant jobs primarily in the area of migration and Mexican American needs, food nutrition and health of Hispanic groups. He was a member of the Council of La Raza governor's advisory council and comprehensive health planning. Mr. Valdez is currently employed at the Rio Grande Alcoholism Treatment Center, a residential center for alcoholics. He resides in Las Vegas, New Mexico.