NASW Pioneers Biography Index

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is pleased to present the NASW Social Work Pioneers®. NASW Pioneers are social workers who have explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers. Some are well known, while others are less famous outside their immediate colleagues, and the region where they live and work. But each one has made an important contribution to the social work profession, and to social policies through service, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, or legislation.

The NASW Pioneers have paved the way for thousands of other social workers to contribute to the betterment of the human condition; and they are are role models for future generations of social workers. The NASW Foundation has made every effort to provide accurate Pioneer biographies.  Please contact us at to provide missing information, or to correct inaccurate information. It is very important to us to correctly tell these important stories and preserve our history.  

Please note, an asterisk attached to a name reflects Pioneers who have passed away. All NASW Social Work Pioneers® Bios are Copyright © 2021 National Association of Social Workers Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Skip Navigation Links
David Roth Photo
David Roth* (1923-2010)

The Officers, Trustees, and Staff of Jewish Child Care Association express their profound sorrow at the loss of David Roth, an esteemed and honored former Executive Director of JCCA. David joined JCCA in 1947 and was Executive Director, 1979-1993. His unflagging dedication to children and families and his significant contribution to JCCA and other child advocacy organizations will long be remembered. He believed that every child deserves to grow up hopeful. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Phyllis, his children, his grandchildren, and his sister. Barbara Salmanson, President and Richard Altman, CEO. 

Published in The New York Times on September 29, 2010.


Newly Inducted NASW Social Work Pioneer Hortense McClinton 2015

Nominate A New NASW Pioneer

Completed NASW Pioneer nominations can be submitted throughout the year and are reviewed at the June 2021 Pioneer Steering Committee Meeting. To be considered at the June meeting, submit your nomination package by March 31, 2021. To learn more, visit our Pioneer nomination guidelines.

New Pioneers 

In 2020, 16 new Pioneers have been inducted.