Jeanette C. Takamura, MSW, PhD
Jeanette Takamura was named as Columbia University's17th dean of its 103-year old School of Social Work in May 2002. Dr. Takamura was Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1997-2001. Since June 2001, she has held the Edward R. Roybal Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology and Public Service at California State University at Los Angeles. On July 1, 2002, Dr. Takamura became the first female dean at the nation's oldest school of social work.
During Dr. Takamura's tenure as assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, she led the development of a modernized Older Americans Act and the establishment of the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which were passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 2000. In addition, during her tenure the federal Older Americans Act programs and services received the largest funding increases since 1972. During the 1999 International Year of the Older Person, she led a crosscutting U.S. executive branch effort to lay a foundation for aging policy and program coordination and departmental collaboration over the next decade.
Dr. Takamura was first deputy (chief operating officer) of health for the State of Hawaii's Department of Health from 1995-1997. In this post, she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the third largest health department in the nation. She also initiated and led the coordination of aging, long-term care and disability programs as well as a statewide telemedicine initiative. From 1987-1994, Dr. Takamura was the director of the State Executive Office on Aging, where she set in motion the development of the nation's first state comprehensive long-term care financing policy proposal and policies and programs to prepare a diverse population for an aging society, including those addressing various long-term care and retirement security concerns.
Prior to working in government, Dr. Takamura held faculty and administrative appointments in higher education. She was a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's School of Social Work from 1982-1986. From 1975-1978, she was the director of the College of Health Sciences and Social Welfare, Health Team Development Program. During this period, she was also a member of the faculties of the School of Medicine and the School of Social Work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, concentrating upon interdisciplinary practice, social policy and gerontology, which is the focus of her publications.
In June of last year, Dr. Takamura received the Humanitarian Award at the 2002 International Conference on Immunology and Aging. Previous winners include former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and former U.S. Senators George Mitchell and Mark Hatfield. At California State University at Los Angeles she established leadership programs in gerontology for promising health and human services students and secured substantial funding for two new initiatives. She has served as an advisor to and technical expert for a number of national and international health and social welfare organizations. She is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a principal of the Council for Excellence in Government, vice president of the Older Women's League and president-elect of the American Society on Aging.
Dr. Takamura earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in social work from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University.