The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the preeminent
organization convening and representing social work education in
the United States and two of its territories, Puerto Rico and Guam.
As the recognized accrediting body for social work programs
nationally, CSWE is in a singular position to catalyze discussions
both within the academy and at the federal level regarding the
future of social work education.
To lead the organization into the future and to play a primary,
visible role in increasing its impact, CSWE seeks a President to
serve as its Chief Executive Officer. Reporting to the Board of
Directors and managing an operating budget of more than $7
million and a staff of 35, the President/CEO will lead CSWE during
a period of significant opportunity. As higher education becomes
increasingly visible as a matter of national and international
policy, CSWE is well-positioned to play a principal role in
discussions on such issues as accreditation, multiple modes of
delivery, antiracism and anti-oppressive education, globalization,
student financial aid and indebtedness, and academic freedom. The
president of CSWE, which is headquartered in Alexandria, VA, will
work closely with the Board and membership to add the voice of
social work education to these national and international
Founded in 1952, CSWE operates as a 501(c)(3) to work toward
realizing its vision of a well-educated social work profession
equipped to promote health, well-being, and justice for all people
in a diverse society. CSWE’s mission is to advance excellence and
innovation in social work education and research by providing
leadership, ensuring quality in teaching and learning, and
strengthening the capacity of its member institutions. CSWE’s
members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s
degree social work programs and individual social work educators,
practitioners, and agencies who share a common goal of advancing
quality social work education.
CSWE houses many initiatives, institutes, and centers that
support quality social work education and provide opportunities for
leadership and professional development, so that social workers
play a central role in achieving the profession’s goals of social
and economic justice. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is
recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the
sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United
States and its territories.
The President & CEO Role
The President serves as the central and publicly visible
representative of the organization and provides leadership in
cultivating and strengthening relationships and partnerships with
other higher education associations and other social work
organizations, including those representing research, policy, and
practice. In addition, the President is the organization’s primary
spokesperson in all matters related to public policy and
advocacy.The President of CSWE, who is appointed by and accountable
to the Board of Directors, is the Chief Executive Officer of the
organization. The President sits as a nonvoting member on the Board
of Directors and, in collaboration with the Board, is responsible
for the overall vision, direction, and operations of the
organization and the promotion of social work education at the
national and international levels. The President will foster high
ethical and institutional standards and successfully engage
volunteer leaders and members in organizational activities.
The President is responsible for organizational operations
including staff leadership, membership development, CSWE’s
finances, strategic planning, and accountability to the
organization’s constituents and the public at large. The President
speaks for and promotes the core values of social work education
and responds to the aspirations, innovations, and concerns of
member social work programs, staff, and affiliated groups.
Opportunities and Expectations for the President &
Champion Diversity, Equity, Access, and
The President will drive diversity, equity, access, and
inclusiveness through CSWE’s initiatives, policies, and activities
and continue efforts to integrate DEAI into the organization’s
The President will continue to work with staff and members to
actualize recommendations made in 2021 by CSWE’s Anti-Racism Task
- Updates to the Educational Policy and Accreditation
- Ideas for a clearinghouse of curricular resources that address
antiracist, anticolonial, anti-immigrant, and anti-oppressive
theories and pedagogies.
- Suggestions to improve data collection on program faculties,
leadership, and students to better understand the social work
education ecosystem as it relates to diversity, equity, inclusion,
and belonging. Evaluate data to identify gaps and implement
corrective actions to address them.
Promote Social Work Education
The demand for professional social workers is very high. Factors
such as the impact of health disparities on disenfranchised racial
and ethnic groups, a lack of access to technology and jobs, and
growing economic disparities and social injustice increase the need
for high-quality social work education and professional social
workers. To meet these needs, the President will:
- Play a vital role in advocating for high-quality social work
education and for affordable access to educational programs at the
baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels.
- Advocate for the value of CSWE accreditation of social work
programs and ensure organizational resources for the provision of
- Refine and focus CSWE’s educational capacity and ensure access
to professional and leadership development as a member benefit for
a diverse group of social work educators and stakeholders.
- Develop and oversee implementation of efforts to enhance value
and opportunities for members.
Work Effectively with Coalitions Across the Social
- Build strong relationships with the leadership of other social
work associations and related coalitions in the pursuit of
collegiality and common purpose.
- Expand the community of alliance partners to include those
focused on social work issues such as policy, advocacy, education,
practice, research, and scholarship.
- Develop outreach to different constituencies around core issues
relevant to the field of social work, including issues of social
and economic justice, to unify and coordinate responses on matters
of national interest and leverage the strengths of the various
Be Part of the National and Global Conversation
Perhaps never in the history of the United States has higher
education been so visibly a part of and party to the conversation
about national policy. With myriad educational issues now so much a
component of the national consciousness—including growing student
loan debt; the attack on the discussion of racism, equity, and
social justice in the classroom; and the overall value of higher
education as a public good—CSWE stands poised to play a leading
role in this critical dialogue.
As a respected voice within the field of social work education,
the President will:
- Work with colleagues in other disciplinary professional and
education-focused organizations, to create opportunities to
influence policy makers as these difficult issues are resolved,
building on the President’s personal strengths, experience, and
- Make a substantive impact on the future of accreditation. The
President, working with CSWE’s retained public advocacy firm, will
continue to strengthen relationships with the US Department of
Education, CHEA, and other stakeholders (e.g., the American Council
on Education) and will position themselves and CSWE as major
players in the discussion.
- As CSWE becomes more engaged in global and international
partnerships as well as conversations about social work education
and higher education, the President will work with the Board and
its globally focused commission and councils to enable
participation in discussions that address human rights, social and
economic justice, and health equity issues in international and
global settings and to create opportunities to promote global
awareness and collaboration on behalf of and among its
Volunteer Leadership and Governance
- In consultation with the Board Chair, coordinate Board meetings
and set agendas.
- Provide staff support for the Board and its committees.
- Identify, assess, and inform the Board of internal and external
issues that could affect the organization.
- Recognize excellence and contributions of volunteers and staff,
Management and Administration
- Plan, lead, and oversee day-to-day activities and programs of
the organization, its centers, institutes, and initiatives in
accordance with strategy and priorities established in concert with
- Ensure the organization is in compliance with all local, state,
and federal rules governing its activities and in compliance with
CSWE’s governing documents.
- Continuously evaluate and, where possible, improve operations,
including financial operations; recommend potential changes.
- Provide guidance, training, leadership, and supervision to
staff, promoting professionalism and growth, including hiring,
firing, promoting, developing, and recognizing staff, as well as
oversight and improvement of staff structure.
- Ensure and enhance revenue streams derived from institutional
members (tied to the accreditation process), individual
memberships, and grants.
- As the Council’s influence and services expand, establish the
infrastructure for fundraising and development and diversify
revenue streams into new areas such as philanthropic sources.
- Expand CSWE’s fundraising efforts by committing time, effort,
and prestige to engagement with potential donors and funding
sources (e.g., private foundations and the federal
- Oversee budget development and ensure all funds and assets are
appropriately stewarded and accounted for.
- Negotiate contracts in accordance with Board directives.
Required Skills, Experience, and
- Graduate degree in social work and a doctoral degree are
preferred, though a substantial, equivalent combination of
education and professional experience will also be considered.
- Distinguished record of successful and progressively
responsible administrative experience and leadership, preferably in
social work education and/or higher education.
- Experience in the nonprofit sector and the global arena is
- Experience and demonstrated effectiveness in working with
Boards of Directors in creating and advancing organizational vision
and mission are essential.
- Track record demonstrating strong organizational and
educational leadership experience that includes the ability to
manage a complex organization and to work effectively with
colleagues representing diverse institutions and programs.
- Strong preference for a candidate with demonstrated knowledge
of the challenges and issues confronting higher education in the
United States and beyond, and the strategies emerging for
addressing the critical issues that characterize the current
- The successful candidate will have demonstrated leadership in
strategic planning and organizational visioning, public policy and
advocacy, resource development, fiscal management, and in
coalescing diverse constituents around common goals and
- Ideally, the candidate’s work history will reflect the extent
to which they value the fundamental commitment of the social work
profession to its core values: service, social justice, dignity and
worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity,
- The ability to weave diversity, equity, access, and
inclusiveness throughout an organization’s vision, mission,
strategy, culture, operations, and messaging.
Personal Qualities and Competencies
- An authentic, transparent, approachable communicator who can
build trust and foster open dialogue within an organization.
- The emotional intelligence, listening skills, and coaching
skills needed to unite a diverse group of members into a community
with a shared purpose.
- A courageous leader who engages in the thoughtful, difficult
conversations needed to guide an organization toward achieving its
- The emotional intelligence, listening skills, and coaching
skills needed to collaborate with and unite a diverse group of
constituencies into a community with a shared purpose.
- A visionary leader who can conceptualize long-term goals and
translate them into a succinct, understandable, and actionable
- A motivated—and motivational—leader who leads by example.
- A lifelong learner who demonstrates a commitment to continuous
improvement in pursuit of operational excellence.
- Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an
To apply, please send a cover letter and current resume
(Microsoft Word® format preferred). The cover letter should
outline how your experience fits the requirements of the position
as this will be an important factor in considering your
The Council on Social Work Education and Sterling Martin
Associates are committed to providing equal opportunity for
employees and applicants in all aspects of the employment
relationship, without regard to race, religion, color, age, gender
(including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions),
marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender
identity, gender expression, ancestry, national origin,
citizenship, political affiliation, status as a protected veteran,
status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable
legally protected characteristics. All employment is decided on the
basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.