June 04, 2020
Jo Ann R. Regan

Jo Ann R. Regan, current vice president of education at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), has been appointed by Catholic University President John Garvey as the next dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS). She will assume her new duties July 1, 2020. 

Regan holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Trinity University in San Antonio, a masters degree in social work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Since 2011, she has worked for CSWE in Alexandria, Va., leading national accreditation, education, research, faculty, and student initiatives. Regan previously served as the director of accreditation at CSWE and as an accreditation specialist. Prior to joining CSWE, she developed and taught in several social work distance education programs including the University of South Carolina, University of Hawaii, Walden University and California State University-Long Beach. She also practiced in child welfare and the mental health field as a social worker.

Regan’s research and publications have focused on distance education and the use of technology for social work education and practice, competency assessment and accreditation. She was inducted as a social work fellow of the National Academies of Practice in 2019 and recently selected for a 2021 Fulbright Scholar research award in the Czech Republic.  

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Regan as our new dean,” says University President John Garvey. “She is well known and widely respected in the academy. She has a well earned reputation for her ability to get things done in a diplomatic way. And for more than two decades she has been a leader in distance learning, an area where we hope to extend our reach. We are fortunate to have found a wise and experienced professional who shares our love for the Catholic conviction that social work is a way of living out the corporal works of mercy.” 

“The mission of the university and NCSSS resonates with me both personally and professionally given my own Catholic identity and the values of the social work profession,” Regan says. “As the dean of NCSSS, I am looking forward to building a vision and strategic direction for the school and social work profession with the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who promote and sustain the social teachings and values of the Catholic Church with the mission and values of social work.  

“I am excited to be joining the academic community at the Catholic University of America and NCSSS and being a part of the next 100 years of history that explicitly promotes the dignity of all people and a commitment to social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.”

Regan’s areas of expertise include child welfare, social work and interprofessional education, distance learning, technology, and diversity, equity and inclusion especially among students and faculty. She has worked as a consultant for Universities in the areas of accreditation, curriculum innovation, and online education. 

She is a member of Human Services Information Technology Association (husITa), Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Planning Council, Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and the City of Alexandria, Va., Social Services Advisory Board. 

Regan succeeds Marie Raber, who has been interim dean since 2018. Raber will take a yearlong sabbatical beginning this summer. 

Regan resides in Alexandria, Va., with her husband, Colonel Andrew Regan, United States Marine Corps, and her son Colin, who attends Bishop Ireton High School. The family enjoys hockey, whether supporting Colin on the ice or watching the Washington Capitals. They also enjoy world travel, especially when it involves hockey, as a trip to the Czech Republic did last winter when they watched Team USA in the World Junior Hockey championship. 

Previous Experience

“We are grateful for Dr. Regan’s expertise and leadership over almost 9 years at CSWE. We wish her well in her new role, and I personally look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Regan and Catholic University as members of CSWE,” said Darla Spence Coffey, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) president and CEO.

CSWE provided the following background and praise for Regan. 

Through her steady commitment to social work education, she has brought energy, creativity, style, and vision to everything she has been engaged in since joining CSWE in 2011. Hired as an Accreditation Specialist, Dr. Regan moved into leadership of the Department of Social Work Accreditation in 2012 and became the inaugural Vice President of Education in 2014. 

Her contributions are numerous. To list some of note, she: