Public Elected Official of The Year Award

The NASW Public Elected Official of The Year Award recognizes the outstanding service and contributions of an elected official. Special consideration is given to social workers elected to public office.

Elected officials make decisions about a broad range of issues that, when enacted into law, represent the collective values of our society. Of particular interest to the social work profession are policies that affect social justice, health care, education, civil and human rights, and social work practice. NASW created this award in recognition of the many responsibilities and challenges of public service.


The award recipient must:

  • Be an elected official serving, at the time of nomination, in public office at the local, state, or national level
  • Make a significant contribution to public service while in office
  • Demonstrate leadership in advancing public policy in the area of vulnerable populations, civil and human rights, or social welfare
  • Demonstrate leadership on behalf of the protection and advancement of social work practice

Nomination Procedure

Chapters and individuals may nominate an elected official who meets the above criteria by submitting the following:

  1. Completed official awards nomination form
  2. A summary that describes:
    • What the social worker has accomplished
    • What risks the social worker took to achieve results
    • Who the beneficiaries were
  3. Curriculum vita
  4. Three (3) endorsements

To ensure the nominee’s eligibility, please adhere to the nomination guidelines. Use clear, concise, descriptive examples of activities and accomplishments.The National Awards Committee selects and makes recommendations to the NASW Board of Directors, which approves the award recipient.

2020 NASW Award Recipients