Her term as president-elect, which she will serve under current NASW President James J. Kelly, began July 1, 2010, and will end June 30, 2011. From July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014, Anastas will lead the Washington, D.C.-based association as president.
“I am honored that the membership has selected me for the position,” Anastas said. “I want to express my appreciation to current President Jim Kelly, as he has offered to work closely with me through this transition. Based on the imperatives from the 2010 Congress, I plan to work with the Board of Directors to help develop a list of priorities before my term as president begins.”
NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 150,000 members. The organization works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.
A past president of the NASW’s Massachusetts Chapter, Anastas has been the chapter’s Social Worker of the Year (1995), a Council on Social Work Education visiting scholar (2006-07), and the recipient of CSWE’s Greatest Recent Contribution to Social Work Education award (2007). She was elected to the National Academies of Practice in Health Care in 2007. An active NASW member since 1986, she serves on the association board’s Finance and Workforce Center Advisory committees.
Anastas is the convener of the ANSWER Coalition, which works to increase legislative and executive branch advocacy on behalf of social work education, training, and research—a video on the Dorothy A. Height/Whitney M. Young Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act Social Work can be seen here.
As a professor of social work at NYU Silver, Anastas teaches courses in the renowned graduate school’s MSW and PhD programs on social welfare policy, teaching and learning in social work, philosophy of knowledge, and research methods.
Anastas publishes research on women’s issues, LGBT rights, social work education and mental health. Her latest book, Teaching in Social Work: An Educators' Guide to Theory and Practice, was published by Columbia University Press in April 2010.
During the NASW election, Anastas wrote in her platform statement: “NASW has a responsibility to advocate for public policies that advance the profession, create and fund the programs assisting those we serve and enhance social justice. We must address shortages of skilled social workers serving aging, young, and diverse service users. In the changing landscape of health care financing and social services, social work must do more to demonstrate its value and cost-effectiveness in health, behavioral health, chronic and long-term care and health promotion and prevention in ways that engage with practitioners. This time of economic crisis and social change can be one of opportunity for us.”
Anastas also wrote, “NASW must also ensure its own survival through outreach to those who are currently becoming social workers. Enhancing the diversity of professional social workers and NASW membership is also vital. Creative partnering between national and chapter staff and volunteer leaders will continue to be essential to achieving these goals.”
Anastas has served on numerous national committees and boards in social work and social work education. Her national leadership experience includes service on the boards of the Institute for the Advancement for Social Work Research, and the Society for Social Work Research. She was also chair of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education.
Anastas earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Boston University, an MSW from Boston College, and a PhD from Brandeis University.