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.

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Douglas G. Glasgow Photo
Douglas G. Glasgow

Dr. Douglas G. Glasgow is Dean Emeritus of Howard University's School of Social Work, serving from 1972 -1975. While there, he led faculty and students in creating the first comprehensive, accredited, graduate-level curriculum modeled from a Black perspective. His academic career also includes time as a Professor of Social Policy and Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at Howard University. He helped found and later Co-Chaired The Center for Study of Afro-American History and Culture at the University of California in Los Angeles.

He also served as Visiting Professor at the University of Ghana at Legon and Makererre University in Uganda. During his time in Africa, Glasgow served as a Policy Analyst and Consultant on Social Development to the Ministers of Social Welfare in Ghana and with the Ministry of Rehabilitation in Ethiopia. In 1978, he also traveled extensively in the People's Republic of China to study the systems of education, juvenile care, and health services, paying special attention to the processes of social rehabilitation and re-motivation.

Glasgow received his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College, a Master's Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Doctorate in Social Work Research from the University of Southern California. He has helped found such community-based and national organizations as the Black Men's Development Center, the National Association of Black Social Workers, and the United Black Fund/United Way. In Washington D.C., he has served on various boards and commissions including the District of Columbia's Mental Health Reorganization Commission, the Advisory Board on Mental Health, and the Teen Pregnancy Commission.

Dr. Glasgow has been active in “Early Action Response (EAR) to Urban Needs", dedicated to providing research services, information, and advocacy for people in need. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He also served as Vice President of the National Urban League, delivered testimony at congressional hearings, developed regulatory comment, and helped formulate and regularly debated national policy issues before the public. He is widely published in numerous professional journals, and wrote The Black Underclass, a work on the etiology of Blacks' entrapment in poverty. Moreover, he is widely recognized as a specialist on welfare and underclass formation in urban cities and was resident scholar for the 21st century commission on African-American males. He currently is Scholar in Residence at the E. Franklin Frazier Center for Social Research Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Newly Inducted NASW Social Work Pioneer Hortense McClinton 2015

Nominate A New NASW Pioneer

Please note, Pioneer nominations made between today’s date through March 31, 2023, will not be reviewed until spring 2023.

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

New Pioneers 

Congratulations newly elected Pioneers!  Pioneers will be inducted at the 2023  Annual Program and Luncheon. Full biographies and event details coming soon.