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Alaska Social Worker Dr. Yvonne Chase is the new President-Elect of NASW

Yvonne Chase

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaska social worker Yvonne Chase is the new president-elect of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and has pledged to keep the association focused on social justice issues while advocating for innovations to prepare the fast-growing social work profession for future challenges.

Chase, PhD, LCSW, ACSW, MSW, who is an associate professor at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, will begin her three-year term as NASW president on July 1, 2023. She will succeed Mildred “Mit” Joyner, DPS, MSW, LCSW.

“I am honored and humbled to be the president-elect of NASW and I promise you three things – respect, integrity and service,” Chase said. “NASW has also done a great deal of advocacy in addressing systemic racism in this nation and protecting voting and reproductive rights. I will help the association continue this important work while ensuring NASW is continuing to give members of our great profession the tools and training they need to address issues that challenge our nation, including the need for more mental health services.”

Chase also promised transparency and making sure members are aware of developments at NASW and are a part of shaping the association’s vision as it moves into the future.

Chase received her doctorate from Norfolk State University and her master’s degree in social work from Howard University. She has extensive leadership experience at the NASW chapter and national level, including serving as the president of the NASW Alaska Chapter; member of the boards of NASW and the NASW Assurance Services Inc.; and chair of the NASW National Committee on Inquiry and Professional Review Task Force.

Chase has been a member of NASW for more than 30 years and is a Social Work Pioneer. She currently serves as board member and treasurer of NASW Assurance Services Inc. Her organizational affiliations include the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatry Association), and the editorial board for the Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Her professional interests have included social work ethics, child welfare, serving diverse client populations and the global social work community. She is currently the project coordinator for a U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) funded project that  provides training for masters and doctoral level students to expand the number of graduate behavioral health professionals within Alaska who have core competencies in interprofessional practice in integrated health care settings.   

Chase was born and raised in Michigan, and has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Seattle, before moving to Alaska, which has been home for more than 30 years.  She credits her decision to become a social worker to her first supervisor in what was then the Department of Child Welfare in Chicago, Illinois.

“I have seen many changes in our society over the years and seen this association becoming stronger and more progressive,” she said. “NASW has influence and responsibilities and during my presidency I will work hard to ensure this association continues to have a seat at the table in setting policies that benefit the profession and the clients we serve at the local, state and federal level.”

Take time to listen to a conversation with Chase at NASW's Social Work Talks podcast..

Read this article to learn more about Dr. Chase’s path to becoming NASW president and about the people and experiences that have shaped her personally and professionally.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.