NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Ruth M. Williams (1915 - 1967)
Miss Ruth Williams was born in Utica, New York. After receiving an AB degree from Smith College in 1937, Miss Williams joined the National Municipal League in New York City, an agency devoted to improving state and local governments and techniques of citizen action. In 1943, after serving with the state and Federal Civil Service Commissions, she became publications editor for the National Resources Planning Board. From 1943 to 1945, she was an administrative assistant in the welfare division of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.
For the U.N.R.R.A., Miss Williams went to China in 1945 as assistant to the director of the Bureau of Services. She served as a member of the Secretariat of the Conference in San Francisco when the United Nations was born. She was documents officer of the United Nations until 1949. That year, she joined the staff of the U.S. National Conference on Social Welfare as assistant executive secretary and assumed the position of executive officer of the ICSW, and secretary of the U.S. National Committee.
She provided her experience in the development of policies and procedures for international bodies to the International Council of Schools of Social Work as well as the International Federation of Social Workers, and the International Federation of Settlements. During her years of work with the International Conference on Social Welfare, she was largely responsible for the creation of the regional offices throughout the world with their own cluster of national committees and national concerns.
Social Work Pioneer — 1998