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Senator Barbara Mikulski

International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award


U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski began her career as a social worker in Baltimore and ever since has been determined to make a difference in her community. She has a long record of fighting for women’s health care and aggressively advocating for jobs.

Coming from Highlandtown, one of Baltimore’s great ethnic neighborhoods, Senator Mikulski learned the values of hard work and neighbor helping neighbor.  Determined to make a difference in her community, Mikulski became a social worker in Maryland, helping at-risk children and educating seniors about the Medicare program. Senator Mikulski draws on her experiences as a social worker daily in her work in the Senate.

Currently serving her fifth term, Senator Mikulski was the first Democratic woman to be elected to the Senate in her own right. On March 17, 2012 she became the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress. Of that milestone, she has always said that it’s not about how long she serves, but how well she serves the people of Maryland and our nation.

Senator Mikulski has been an advocate for legislation that is important to the social work profession and NASW, including supporting the National Center for Social Work Research Act and supporting the Clinical Social Work Medicare Equity Act in several congresses.  She  also introduced the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act in the Senate in the 110th Congress. 

Senator Mikulski received her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Agnes College and Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland. She has been a member of NASW since 1983 and was elected an NASW Social Work Pioneer® in 1997.

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