Fred Newdom, M.S.W.

Adjunct Associate Professor and Coordinator of Community Practice (Retired)

Fred Newdom

Contact Information

Lilly Hall


B.A., City College of New York

M.S.W., Columbia University


Prior to his retirement in 2016, Fred Newdom chaired the social welfare policy sequence, as well as coordinating the Community Practice Project and the Agency and Community Practice course at the Smith College School for Social Work. He also served as a research adviser, working with students whose thesis topics relate to anti-racism, social policy and social justice. He taught the foundation social policy course, as well as electives on grant writing and lobbying and clinical work and social action. With his late Smith colleague, Jerry Sachs, he is author of Clinical Work and Social Action: An Integrative Approach (Haworth Press).

His work outside of Smith is based in Albany, New York, where, for over 25 years, he has maintained a consulting practice focused on work with advocacy groups. His roles include lobbyist, trainer, organizer, writer and researcher. Prior to coming to Smith, he was executive director of the New York State Chapter of NASW for ten years. Earlier in his career, he worked in a settlement house as a community organizer and in residential services for children. Newdom's volunteer work in the profession includes terms as chair of NASW's Committee on Peace and Social Justice and its National Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification. He also served on NASW's national Government Relations Committee and chaired the same committee for the New York State chapter, where he also chaired its Political Action Committee. In addition, he was national chair of the Social Welfare Action Alliance for ten years and still serves on its steering committee. Newdom is also a consulting editor for the Journal of Poverty and the Journal of Progressive Human Services. In the broader community, he has served on numerous boards, including that of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro- Choice New York (which he chaired for five years), the Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide, and Music Mobile, an Albany-based organization dedicated to building peaceful communities through music and whose board he currently chairs. 

Newdom recently directed a project for NASW in New York State to train practitioners to meet the mental health needs of Veterans and their families. He also serves as a lobbyist for the WIC program in New York. Beyond that, he consults with nonprofit organizations in New York and nationally on issues such as board effectiveness and development of advocacy capacity and skills, with a particular focus on the work of centers for independent living, consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private nonprofit agencies for individuals with significant disabilities.