International Social Work Leader Review

CSWE’s Commission on Global Social Work Education and the Katherine A. Kendall Institute collaborate to offer the International Social Work Leader Review. Each quarter the Review features an individual who has made significant contributions to international social work education with ties to the United States. In the spirit of Katherine A. Kendall’s life and work, these highlighted leaders are recognized as influencers in the global social work community whose efforts have made important advancements in social work education and practice.

Featured Leader

Alberto Godenzi (1952–2019)

Alberto-Godenzi-2.jpgDr. Alberto Godenzi was a visionary leader and strategic thinker well known for his promotion of globalization in higher education and his long-term advocacy efforts against violence toward women and children. For decades, he advocated for social workers to become globally literate indicating the need for three essential skills including global awareness, versatility with language, and cultural humility. He was named as one of the most influential social workers based on merit, scholastic study, and political activism in 2014.

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By Patricia Saleeby, PhD, MSSA (Bradley University)


Recently Featured Leaders

Anna Maria Cavallone  (1927–2020)

SWL-1-2-(1).jpegAnna Maria Cavallone played an important role in the consolidation of Italian social work, particularly regarding its international dimension. After taking a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature, she qualified as a social worker in 1952. These experiences instilled a firm conviction that professional practice must be guided by scientific rigor, hence her unflagging commitment to the process that led in 1987 to Italy’s legal recognition of the social work profession, which mandated that practitioners must have university qualifications. Even after her retirement in the early 1990s, Cavallone continued to participate actively in the world of Italian social work, open as always to international dialog as her publications from this decade testify.

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By Marilena Dellavalle (Turin University, Italy) 


The Detained and Disappeared Social Workers of Chile

SWL-2-2.jpg2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the military coup in Chile. The coup unleased incredible violence in Chile particularly focused on those people who were involved in activities meant to improve the quality of life for the majority. These people were tortured, killed, exiled, and disappeared. This entry discusses some of the disappeared social workers of Chile. Across the world social workers are committed to defending human rights. But social workers themselves have also been victims and survivors of human rights abuses. This review will examine the stories of social workers in Chile who were detained and disappeared by the military-civic dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet beginning in 1973 and will provide a brief summary of and context for social work and human rights in Chile at that time.

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By Rosemary A. Barbera, PhD, MSS (La Salle University)


Advocate Eknath Awad (1956–2015)

images-2.jpgComing from one of the most downtrodden communities in India, the “ex-untouchable” caste, he rose to fight against caste and class-based inequities and injustices. He continued the legacy and inspiration from great social movement leaders Jotiba Phule, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Martin Luther King Jr., and Annabhau Sathe. He studied MSW, got a law degree, and instituted a social movement called the “Manav Hakk Abhiyan” Human Rights Campaign. His work has significantly contributed to contemporary social work and human rights curricula.

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By Lalit Khandare, PhD, MPhil, MSW (Pacific University)

For a list of previously featured leaders, click here.