Sunday, December 6, 2009

IFSW Secretary General Tom Johannesen leaves to take early retirement

Tom Johannesen

Dear colleagues

IFSW’s Secretary General will take early retirement from 1 January 2010. He will be on vacation in December 2009 and therefore has effectively stopped working for IFSW as of December 1, 2009. The early retirement is by mutual agreement between Johannesen and the IFSW Executive Committee.

Tom Johannesen has been IFSW Secretary General since January 1, 1993 when he took over from Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol. During his 17 year long tenure, IFSW has seen a significant growth in membership from 56 to 90 countries and Tom has been actively involved in this development. He has also been engaged in arranging the 26 international conferences with more than 20 000 participants which IFSW and partners have held during this period. During the first part of Tom’s service, the IFSW Secretariat was based in his native Norway before it moved to Switzerland in 1999.

Other significant developments to which Tom has made a significant contribution have been the renewal of the core documents on the Definition of Social Work and Social Work Ethic principles, as well as a new document on Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession. A World Social Work Day is now well established and IFSW has reached out to the global social work community through its Friends of IFSW programme. Tom has travelled extensively and met social workers in all parts of the world. He has worked closely with four IFSW Presidents and numerous other IFSW officials.

The IFSW Executive informed the General Meeting in 2008 that a review of Secretariat arrangements was taking place. Proposals will be brought for decision to the 2010 General Meeting in Hong Kong. For the moment, Policy and Communications Officer René Schegg will increase his working hours to 70 % of full time in the IFSW Secretariat in Switzerland. Additional cover arrangements are being put in place.

As he left the IFSW office in Bern, Tom Johannesen said "it has been a privilege to work for IFSW in this unique social work position for such a long time. My most vivid and lasting memories are to have met so many social workers from all over the world and to have experienced the reality that, even if the material circumstances differ, we are united through core social work skills and values.”

David N Jones, IFSW President, paid tribute to Tom's service and contribution to world social work. "Tom has made a significant contribution to the development of social work throughout the world during his long service with IFSW, not only through formal documents and lobbying in the United Nations, but also through personal contacts", David Jones said. "The profession and the Federation are stronger now than when he joined in 1993. We extend our thanks for his commitment and service and extend our very best wishes for a fruitful and enjoyable retirement."

A video farewell interview with Tom Johannesen will be presented on the IFSW web site by the end of December.

Messages for Tom can be sent to and will be passed on to him.

International Federation of Social Workers

1 comment:

ifsweurope said...

Farewell Tom. All my best wishes.It was great meeting you.Let's keep in touch.
Cristina Martins