Gehlert Inducted as President of AASWSW

Faculty; Social Work

​Professor Sarah Gehlert was inducted January 13 as the new president of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. The ceremony occurred at the Society for Social Work and Research Conference in New Orleans.

Gehlert is the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and in the Department of Surgery of the School of Medicine. She is a scholar in Washington University’s Institute of Public Health and co-chair of the Prevention and Control Program at the Siteman Cancer Center. Her research focuses on social influences on health, especially the health of vulnerable populations. She was president of the Society for Social Work and Research from 2008 through 2010.

The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare is a society of 115 distinguished scholars, practitioners and policy-makers dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare through high-impact work that advances social good. The academy, founded in 2009 and based since then at the University of Maryland, has moved its main office to the Brown School.

Gehlert said housing the academy “will shed a lot of light on the school and the university,” where national attention will focus on the work of the academy, including the Grand Challenges for Social Work announced in 2014. George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor Michael Sherraden is co-chair of the Grand Challenges Executive Committee within AASWS, and the Brown School hosted the first Grand Challenges Policy Conference in September 2016.

“The academy is a way of bringing together the best of social work and social welfare, a good way of uniting like-minded people to address the large questions that are facing the country,” she said.  “As we become aware of issues, we find appropriate ways to help.”

Gehlert said she hopes to expand the work of the academy beyond that of social workers and bring together thought leaders and practitioners from a variety of disciplines.