Washington, D.C. (November 28, 2022) – The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) recently named their new incoming President and CEO, Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi, PhD, MSW, Med. Dr. Vakalahi will begin her term as President and CEO on January 17, 2023.
Dr. Vakalahi’s 25 years of professional experience spans across several higher education institutions and nonprofit social work education. She will join CSWE from her most recent role as Dean and Professor of the College of Health and Society at Hawai’i Pacific University. In this role, Dr. Vakalahi has overseen the social work, public health, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant programs. Previously, the nursing program was also under Dr. Vakalahi’s purview for three years, during which a DNP program was accredited, and an MSN online program was developed.
Born in Tonga and raised in Hawai’i, Vakalahi received her PhD. in Social Work from the University of Utah. She is a proud representative of her Pacific Islander community, one of the most underrepresented communities in academia, health care, and government.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the preeminent organization convening and representing social work education in the United States and two of its territories, Puerto Rico and Guam. As the recognized accrediting body for social work programs nationally, CSWE is in a singular position to catalyze discussions both within the academy and at the federal level regarding the future of social work education.
Founded in 1952, CSWE operates as a 501(c)(3) to work toward realizing its vision of a well-educated social work profession equipped to promote health, well-being, and justice for all people in a diverse society. CSWE’s mission is to advance excellence and innovation in social work education and research by providing leadership, ensuring quality in teaching and learning, and strengthening the capacity of its member institutions. CSWE’s members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs and individual social work educators, practitioners, and agencies who share a common goal of advancing quality social work education.
CSWE houses many initiatives, institutes, and centers that support quality social work education and provide opportunities for leadership and professional development, so that social workers play a central role in achieving the profession’s goals of social and economic justice. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States and its territories.
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