Jeanette C. Takamura is the first female and 17th dean of the Columbia University School of Social Work, the first social work school in the nation. Dr. Takamura served as assistant secretary for aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1996 to 2001. She previously held the Edward R. Roybal Endowed Chair for Applied Gerontology and Public Service at California State University in Los Angeles.
During her tenure as assistant secretary, Dr. Takamura headed the U.S. Administration on Aging, leading the development of a modernized Older Americans Act and initiated the design and proposal of a new national program—the National Family Caregiver Support Program. The program has played a significant role in increasing national awareness of the dilemmas faced by family caregivers of older people. It legislated the designation of, and federal funding for, the national aging network of 57 state aging agencies, 655 local agencies, and 27,000 services providers, enabling them to provide essential supportive services to caregivers.
Dr. Takaumura is an elected fellow of the National Academy on Social Insurance and the National Academy for Public Administration and an invited principal of the Council on Excellence in Government. She has served on numerous advisory boards, commissions and working groups, and as advisor for the World Health Organization, the Milbank Memorial Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Global Forum. She is the incoming chair of the American Society on Aging.