NASW-MA Chapter Announces New Executive Director Rebekah Gewirtz
Friday, March 17, 2017
The National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter announced today the appointment of Rebekah Gewirtz as the Chapter's next Executive Director. Rebekah served for more than eight years as the director of government relations and political action at NASW before leaving at the end of 2013 to become the executive director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association.
During her tenure at NASW, Rebekah was a leader in the campaign to raise the minimum wage, co-chair of the Campaign for our Communities working with the support of nearly 100 organizations for a state revenue package that would be adequate and fair, and she was a founding member of the Welfare Coalition fighting to secure and preserve state safety net programs for the most vulnerable. She led the Chapter's successful efforts to advance social work practice through policy, including legislation protecting social workers from frivolous lawsuits, legislation protecting social workers against restrictive covenants, legislation providing social workers with section 12 authority, and passage of social work safety in the workplace legislation. In addition, Rebekah led the Chapter's political action arm NASW MA PACE, working with members to endorse and support candidates throughout Massachusetts who share social work values and priorities.
Allison Scobie-Carroll, NASW-MA Chapter Board President said, "Rebekah's substantial contributions to the NASW MA Chapter to date, her extraordinary leadership across public and private-nonprofit realms, and her remarkable capacity to inspire others make her just the sort of leader that the NASW Massachusetts Chapter needs at this critical time. I am thrilled that our Chapter and its members have the good fortune to welcome Rebekah to the helm."
As the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) from 2014-2017, Rebekah has provided strategic vision for the organization, engaged in extensive fundraising, member and stakeholder recruitment and retention, and advancement of core public health policy priorities. In 2015, under Rebekah's leadership, MPHA was selected through a competitive process as a Social Innovator with the Social Innovation Forum.
Rebekah also served as Ward 6 Alderman (City Councilor) in the City of Somerville from 2005-2015. She was first elected in 2005 and was re-elected four times before leaving the Board of Aldermen at the end of her term in 2015. From 2011-2012, Rebekah was elected by her colleagues to serve as president of the board.
Rebekah has been recognized by her peers with several awards and honors. She was named Woman to Watch by the political youth group, Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century. Upon graduation from the McCormack Institute of Policy Studies at UMass Boston, she received the Outstanding Public Service Award. In November 2013, Rebekah was honored by the Greater Boston Labor Council with their Leadership Award. And most recently, in 2016, Rebekah received the Tina DeLellis Distinguished Service Award from the Somerville Homeless Coalition.
NASW is eagerly looking forward to Rebekah's leadership at the helm of our organization as we press forward an agenda of advancing our core values of social and economic justice and unimpeded access to services for all, and top notch advocacy and programming in support of the social work profession. Rebekah's first day will be Monday April 24, 2017.