Jeanette Takamura is the first female Dean at the nation's first school of social work. She was Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1996 to 2001. Prior to this, she served in senior positions in the state government of Hawaii and held faculty and administrative appointments in higher education. She has received numerous awards, among them the Lucy Stone Award from the White House for her advocacy and the enactment of the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which provides a range of supportive services to millions of family caregivers. She has been a member of national and international boards and working groups. Dean Takamura earned her Ph.D. in Social Policy from Brandeis University and both her Master of Social Work and bachelor's degrees from the University of Hawaii. Dean Jeanette Takamura has been named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Foundation, the premier professional association for social workers.
Much of Takamura life’s work has been dedicated to in the advancement of national and state policies and programs in aging, health, and related areas. Takamura's research interests include developing and testing outreach materials on Alzheimer's disease for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, perceptions of dementia, caregiving, and help-seeking among recent Vietnamese immigrants.