Aytakin Huseynli is a doctoral student in social work at the Brown School at Washington University where she also earned her masters of social work (MSW) degree. Her research interests include social welfare in resource-rich countries, international social work and social development. Teaching interests are natural resources and social development, international social work, social policies and services, statistics and research methods. Before entering the doctoral program she served as a country director of Hilfswerk Austria International and Second Deputy Member of Executive Committee at International Federation of Social Workers. She also founded and served as the chair of the Azerbaijan Social Work Public Union (AZSWU) which is the association of professional social workers in Azerbaijan ( Prior to the doctoral program, Huseynli’s work encompassed educational, program, and policy development in Azerbaijan. She was an instrumental leader in the organization and establishment of the social work education and profession in Azerbaijan, subsequently accruing 7 years of experience teaching social work and social policy courses. In addition to introducing social work to Azerbaijan, she actively lobbied for governmental policies and services for children and their adoption. Notable services she established includes; the first small group home, family training-counseling, family support centers, and the development of a legal framework and implementation mechanisms for foster and respite care services in Azerbaijan. Huseynli’s extensive contributions to the development of social work in Azerbaijan and the region has been recognized and rewarded by many associations, most notably the US Embassy to Azerbaijan in 2012, by Turkish Association of Social Workers and Antalya Municipality of Turkey in 2013 and  by the International Federation of Social Workers in 2016. Currently she serves at Editorial Board of International Social Work Journal, member of Social Services in the Context of Conflict Network and continues her leadership as a Board Member and Chair for AZSWU.

Amalya Sezgin graduated from the department of the English and German languages of the University of Languages in 1990. Since the beginning of 1990 she started teaching at the University of Languages and worked there till 2007 as a head teacher. Since 1994 she began working at different international organizations – International Rescue Committee, a US humanitarian organization (as an executive assistant and office manager, 1994-1998), the Eurasia Foundation, a US grant-making organization (as a Program Associate, 1998-2003) and International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) (as an Education Project Coordinator and Grants Manager, 2003-2011). In 2003 she was one of the winners of the fellowship program funded by OSI to study a Master’s Program on Social Work at George Braun School of Social Work at Washington University, but due to some family issues she was not able to finish the program.

Gulnara Panahova was selected as a Board Member of Azerbaijan Social Work Public Union. Before joining AZSWU, She worked at United Aid for Azerbaijan (UAFA) for 12 years on various positions. Her last position at UAFA was the Program Manager. She also worked at SOS Children’s Village as Family Based Care Adviser. She graduated from University of Russian Languages named after Akhundov in 1983. In 2000, she took part in Step-by-Step Rehabilitation Program in Hamburg, Germany together with her son, who has Cerebral Palsy. Furthermore, she completed a semester (Sept-Dec, 2005) at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences – Social Management Program.