NASW Board of Directors
Director, Region II

Karen McLean, PhD, LMSW

Karen McLean

Karen McLean, PhD, LMSW, is the Department Chair and Associate Professor of Social Work at Western CT State University in Danbury, CT. She obtained her PhD and MSW from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work in West Hartford, CT, and her BA in Psychology from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.

McLean has over 27 years of social work experience in social welfare policy, working both as a social worker and a fair hearing officer. McLean’s research interests include diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, the self-care needs of undergraduate social work students, and promoting culturally relevant teaching pedagogy. McLean has provided training and conducted several workshops on various topics, including understanding microaggressions, the benefits of self-care to combat empathetic engagement, creating culturally relevant teaching pedagogy, and community conversations about race.

McLean has coauthored a book titled Contemporary Social Work Practice: Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (2023). McLean is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a board member of the Connecticut Innocence Fund, Community Matters Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic in East Hartford, CT, and the Creative Climb Academy, a comprehensive homeschool and family outreach program in Copperas Cove, Texas. McLean served on NASW-CT Board of Directors and was a member of the Diversity Committee.