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Headshot of Richard Estes

Richard Estes, MSW, DSW

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Richard J. Estes is Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He holds an A.B. degree from La Salle University in Philadelphia and graduate degrees in social work from the University of Pennsylvania (Master of Social Work) and the University of California at Berkeley (Doctor of Social Welfare). He also holds a post-master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Social Work from the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas.

    Dr. Estes’ international activities have been extensive. Among other assignments, he has held visiting Professorships in Iran, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Morocco, South Korea, Hawaii, Japan, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Belgium, Sweden, Mexico, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. In the United States, Dr. Estes is founding President of the Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Society for International Development (SID). He is a former president of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE), and is a former Chair of the Council on External Relations of the Global Commission of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In 2004 he was elected President of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS).

    Until 2010, Dr. Estes served as Chair of the graduate concentration in Social and Economic Development (SED) where he also directed the School’s international programs until his retirement from Penn in July 2010.

    Dr. Estes has been the recipient of many awards and grants for his research on international social work and comparative social development including two Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Awards (Iran, 1978 and Norway, 1979) and a Fulbright Scholar Award to Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea (1994). In 1992, he was elected Social Worker of the Year by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for his international activities. In 1996 he received the Alumni Recognition Award from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Social Work. In 1997 he was awarded the Distinguished Recent Contribution to Social Work Education Award by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Best Article in Social Indicators Research Award of the International Society of Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS). In 2002 he was appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar of United College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he served as an External Examiner for the University’s Department of Social Work until 2008. In 2005, the Global Commission of the Council on Social Work Education awarded Dr. Estes its Partner in International Education Award. In 2007, Dr. Estes received the Distinguished Quality of Life Research Award of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS) and served as University Distinguished Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    In January 2014 Dr. Estes was inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), the leading professional honorific organization for social welfare specialist in the United States. Also in 2014, the International Society for Quality of Life Study (ISQOLS) honored Dr. Estes in Florence, Italy by establishing a permanently endowed lecture series in his name on international and comparative studies in quality of life research. In the same year the International Consortium for Social Developed (ICSD) honored him in Singapore for his pioneering work in international and comparative social development research.

    In recent years, Prof. Estes has become interested in development patterns occurring in Islamic nations including in factors that contribute to Islamic terrorism both internally and that directed against other nations. He has since written extensively on developing trends occurring in these nations including problems associated with Islamic militancy and terrorism.

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    mobile: 215.565.5356

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    3701 Locust Walk, Caster Building
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214

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    Faculty | Emeritus Faculty

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