ASWB announces retirement of CEO Mary Jo Monahan and succession plan

The Association of Social Work Boards announced November 9, 2019, that CEO Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW, plans to retire effective July 2020 after more than seven years of forward-thinking leadership of the 501(c)(3) organization. A succession plan is under way, and Monahan will continue as CEO until a successor is hired.

Culpeper, Virginia, UNITED STATES


Culpeper, Virginia, Nov. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Association of Social Work Boards announced November 9, 2019, that CEO Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW, plans to retire effective July 2020 after more than seven years of forward-thinking leadership of the 501(c)(3) organization. A succession plan is under way, and Monahan will continue as CEO until a successor is hired.

Monahan has served as CEO since January 2013. Under her leadership, the association has grown its programs and services and increased its internal capacity by doubling its staff to be responsive to membership needs and building an IT infrastructure to support contract services and practice mobility. Added programs include Path to Licensure, which helps social work educators teach their students about the importance of regulation and licensure, and new executive leadership training for board administrator and board chair partnerships and for incoming board chairs. In January 2020, staff will move into a new 26,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Culpeper that has been in development since 2015. The headquarters was built using sustainable materials and processes to minimize ASWB’s environmental impact.

Monahan has worked closely with the Board of Directors and membership to develop a strategy and a plan for implementation of social work practice mobility that protects the public while allowing licensed social workers to become licensed more efficiently in additional jurisdictions to practice in person or electronically. At a time when professional regulation is under scrutiny, ASWB has had a voice in efforts to strengthen public protection.

President of the ASWB Board of Directors Harold Dean praised Monahan’s role in making ASWB an organization with influence in the social work regulatory, education, and professional communities. “Mary Jo has been an exemplary leader of ASWB. Her efforts have resulted in regulation and licensing being better understood and accepted,” said Dean. “And she ensured that social work practice mobility was placed at the top of ASWB strategic priorities.”

“The timing is right for this transition,” said Monahan about her decision to retire in July. “Part of best practices is a five to eight year run as CEO. I am proud of the work we are doing,” said Monahan. “We have worked closely with the National Association of Social Workers and the Council on Social Work Education—the other pillars of the social work profession—to show that ASWB is a force for regulation and public protection. We are accomplishing the goals we set for the organization.”

Prior to joining ASWB, Monahan was vice president of operations at Matthews Benefit Group, Inc., a third-party administrator of retirement plans in Tampa, Florida. She was concurrently president and CEO of ICON Institute of Florida, LLC, a professional training center and consultation business in Tampa that provided clinical supervision and training to mental health professionals. Before that, Monahan was president and CEO of Family Service Centers, Inc., in Clearwater, Florida, a $5.4 million social services agency.

As a licensed clinical social worker in Florida, Monahan provided individual, family, couples, and group therapy for adults, adolescents, and children through private individual and group clinical practices for 20 years. She taught for more than 20 years as a graduate-level adjunct professor at the University of South Florida School of Social Work. As a volunteer, she served for five years on the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling and was chair in her last two years. She also served on the national board of directors of NASW for four years and as president of the Florida chapter of NASW for two years. She earned her master’s degree in social work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a special concentration in clinical social work.

“While Monahan’s departure represents an upcoming change in leadership,” Dean said, “the Board of Directors remains committed to carrying out ASWB’s strategic framework and being guided by the association’s vision and mission.” The goals of the current strategic framework are: to advance knowledge and acceptance of social work as a licensed profession, to facilitate mobility by licensure through endorsement, and to curate research for best practices in regulation.

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About ASWB

The Association of Social Work Boards is the nonprofit association of social work regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada. Members include 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. territories of the Virgin Islands and Guam, the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and all 10 Canadian provinces. ASWB’s mission is to provide support and services to the social work regulatory community to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices to strengthen public protection. Harold Dean, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, of Arkansas is the current president. Learn more at aswb.org

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CEO Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW

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