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Simmons College Professor Elected President of International Federation of Social Workers

Professor Gary Bailey, 1st African-American to Serve as President of Global Organization

BOSTON (June 30, 2010) — Gary Bailey, a professor at the Simmons School of Social Work, has been elected president of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), a global organization of more than 700,000 social workers in more than 80 countries. Bailey is the first African-American and the first American in 20 years to serve as president of the IFSW.

A highly sought after trainer and consultant, and a past president of the National Association of Social Workers, Bailey specializes in issues related to diversity, social justice and human rights in elder and family housing program developments; board development; and working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities.

As IFSW president, Bailey said he plans to focus on the implementation of the agenda developed at the 2010 Joint World Conference in Hong Kong on Social Work and Social Development. Among the agenda items are ensuring that social work has an influential role in responding to the global economic crisis; identifying and clearly articulating key issues, such as the impact of racism, social injustice and other human rights violations around the world; and working to ensure that the significant contributions of social workers are recognized and celebrated.

"Social work, both at the local and global level, provides a major contribution to solving human problems, supporting people facing immense difficulties and challenges, promoting peace and positive human relationships, yet this is largely unknown," said Bailey, who previously served as a member of the IFSW Executive committee, and more recently, chaired the Policy, Advocacy and Representation Commission. "The [IFSW] agenda is determined to work with other interested parties to ensure that the efforts social work is acknowledged, and that it continues to play a positive role in responding to the social and worldwide economic crisis affecting people everywhere."

Bailey is an award-winning professor in the Simmons School of Social Work who has played top leadership roles in his field. He is chairman of the National Social Work Public Education Campaign, which educates key stakeholders about the importance of the social work profession. Bailey was named Social Workers of the Year by both the national and Massachusetts NASW. He also is a past president of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC) Board of Directors. In May 2010, he was selected by AIDS Action as one of 25 people whose contributions over more than two decades have made a difference in Massachusetts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The IFSW is a global organization striving for social justice, human rights and social development through the development of social work, best practices and international cooperation between social workers and their professional organizations.

The Simmons School of Social Work was founded in 1904. It has a nationally acclaimed clinical social work program and is one of the oldest schools of social work in the nation. Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston.