Katherine A. Kendall (USA), Honorary President since 1978

Lynne M. Healy


For more than two-thirds of the life of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), Katherine Kendall has been among its leaders. She began her involvement in 1950, served as the first paid Secretary General of the Association in the 1970's and, now in her late 90's, continues to share her wisdom as Honorary President. Beginning in 1950, she attended all the IASSW congresses except 2 (1990 and 1998) until 2004, when health issues prevented long international trips. She personally knew and worked with every President except the first. Thus, although the IASSW began with sustained involvement and contributions of two remarkable founders, Alice Salomon and René Sand, Kendall has surpassed all in terms of her enduring commitment to international social work education and its professional organization. Kendall's remarkable professional career spans 7 decades. Her international involvements began even earlier. This article will focus on highlights of her international career, especially her IASSW service. It will also discuss her formative years and mention other aspects of contributions. Materials for the article are drawn from published and unpublished interviews conducted by other scholars, Kendall's own writings, and a personal interview conducted by the author in 2007.

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