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NASW Communications Network Advisory Committee: Suzanne Dworak-Peck

Suzanne Dworak-Peck

Suzanne Dworak-Peck served as president of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  Elected in 1986, her term of office ran from July 1, 1987 to June 30, 1989.

Suzanne Dworak-Peck is a past president of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), which represents more than 500,000 social workers in over 80 countries around the world.  Currently, she is IFSW’s first, and only, ambassador.  She is also the founder of NCN, the NASW Communications Network, Inc.  NCN has provided the media and entertainment industry with a centralized information and resource outlet for social issues, nationally and internationally and other programs including the “Si” awards to recognize outstanding portrayals of social workers and social issues.

 She received her BA cum laude in psychology from the University of Southern California, where she also earned her MSW as an NIMH Fellow.  A social work practitioner, Suzanne Dworak-Peck has spent much of her career working with vulnerable and traditionally excluded populations as well as providing clinical supervision and treatment to families and individuals.  She has served as adjunct assistant professor of social work at the University of Southern California and has held field faculty appointments at UCLA School of Social Welfare, and within the California State University system.  At USC, she chaired Los Amigos and served on the Board of Councillors.  Additionally, she chaired the California Board of Behavioral Sciences which regulates the legal practice of over 40,000 licensees in clinical social work, educational psychology, and marriage, family, and child counseling.

 As president and founding member of the California Coalition for Mental Health representing over 30 mental health organizations and as president twice of the California Council of Psychiatry, Psychology, Social Work and Nursing, Dworak-Peck represented more than 40,000 mental health professionals.  She served on the Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee of the Journal of Hospital and Community Psychiatry as well as has represented social work at the National Mental Health Leadership Forum, composed of over 35 national consumer and provider organizations.  She was Co-Chair of the National “Mental Illness in America” hearings and was on the Board of the National Mental Health Leadership Foundation.

 Dworak-Peck is also a past presidetn of the California Chapter of NASW and chaired the Political Action, Legislative, and Koshland Awards Committee.  Currently she is a member of the Social Work Image Council, the Hall of Distinction to recognize California’s most significant social workers and the Strategic Planning Commission for the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

 Her activities in NASW at the national level included the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.  She was Co-Chair and Treasurer of the PACE Board of Trustees.  She also chaired the Delegate Assembly and the Western States Coalition.  Recently, she chaired the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Committee and, at present, she chairs the Campaign Advisory Committee for NASW Foundation’s National Social Work Public Education Campaign.

 Among her honors is the distinction of Social Worker of the Year, California Chapter; Selection as one of five social workers to represent the profession in the Centennial Exhibit; Governor’s appointment to the White House Conference on Families; Co-Chair of the National Institute of Mental Health/State of California Mental Health Manpower Advisory Panel; Governor’s appointment to the Board of Behavioral Sciences, and the International Communications Industries Association Achievement Award.  She served as Vice President for North America of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and as the U.S. delegate on the Executive Committee.  NASW co-presented her with the first International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award for advancing the public image of social work. 

Biography courtesy of Suzanne Dworak-Peck.

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