Social Work Concentration Leadership Transitions at the Brown School


This fall marks a transition in leadership for two of our MSW concentrations—International Social & Economic Development (ISED), American Indian Alaskan Native(AIAN).

New Chair for International Social & Economic Development (ISED)

After founding the ISED concentration serving as its chair for six years, Professor Carolyn Lesorogol steps down. She leaves an incredible legacy of leadership and course development. She significantly expanded international practicum opportunities – developing field-based courses in Haiti, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Germany, Australia, and Uga, India that have provided faculty and students opportunities to learn outside the U.S.

The new ISED Concentration Chair, Assistant Professor of Practice Brad Tucker, is an international development professional passionate about advancing the type of social justice that maximizes human development of nations and communities in the Global South – especially sub-Saharan Africa. He has worked with organizations such as USAID, RTI, PACT and the Aga Khan Foundation. Before coming to the Brown School, Tucker taught at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH; served as a Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC, Indonesia and Kenya; and directed a development program with activities in over 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

He currently teaches MSW, MSP and MPH students in the following classes: International Social Economic Development (ISED) Policy; ISED Theory; Management Leadership of Organizations; and Leading Managing Employees, Volunteers Teams. He brings in-depth knowledge of international practice & policy expertise to the ISED concentration.

New Interim Chair for American Indian Alaskan Native (AIAN) Concentration

Associate Professor David Patterson Silver Wolf served as the concentration’s inaugural chair and leader since 2014. During that time he taught two concentration courses: Leadership Development Evaluation in Indian Country and Community Development with AI and Indigenous Communities. He also supported the Social Workers Advancing Through Grounded Education (SAGE) program, working to create new practica opportunities for students within Indigenous communities. Patterson is currently on leave.

Kellie Thompson, director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies and member of Seneca Nation of Indians, will serve as Interim AIAN Concentration Chair. Thompson earned her BA in psychology gender studies from the University of Notre Dame. She is an MSW Buder Scholar alumna from the Brown School.

In previous positions at both the Washington University Center for Diabetes Translation and Research and the Health Communication Research Laboratory, Thompson collaborated with tribal epidemiology centers, the National Congress of American Indians, and Native faculty from across the country.

At the Buder Center – which is currently celebrating 30 years of training and service for Native Americans  – Thompson is responsible for the overall management and development of activities and programs including recruitment, student support services, curriculum, partnerships and research development. Her research interests include Indigenous student development, leadership education and decolonizing social work practices.

Thompson has been actively engaged with Patterson throughout this past year in revising and strengthening the AIAN concentration. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this important leadership role.