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Joanna Staręga-Piasek

A Polish social politician born in Warsaw in 1939.

Completed graduate studies at the Department of Education at the University of Warsaw. In 1971 she obtained a PhD degree at the School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw. Until 1978 she was a Reader at the Faculty of Sociology of Labour at the School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw. From 1979 to 1989 she was the Head of the Department of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation in the Centre of Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Education. Between 1995 and 1997 - the director of the Centre for the Development of Social Services in Warsaw and a Reader at the Department of Social Prevention and Resocialization at the University of Warsaw. Since 1999 she has been the director of the Institute for the Development of Social Services. She is the editor-in-chief of Polish specialist periodicals: bimonthly Praca Socjalna (Social Work), monthly Problemy Opiekuńczo-Wychowawcze (Problems in Childcare and Upbringing) and quarterly Niepełnosprawność i Rehabilitacja (Disability and Rehabilitation).

She participated in the Polish Round Table Talks as a member of the work group negotiating issues related to health and social assistance. She was involved in the issues of social assistance and problems of disabled persons.

She was a member of the Sejm (lower house of the Polish Parliament) for the first, second and third terms. She contributed to the creation of the Social Welfare Act and the Charter on the Rights of Disabled Persons. She served as the deputy minister in the cabinets of the following Polish Prime Ministers: Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, Hanna Suchocka and Jerzy Buzek. When she served as the deputy minister in Jerzy Buzek’s cabinet, she was the Representative for the Disabled.

She was a member of political parties: Unia Demokratyczna (Democratic Union), Unia Wolności (Freedom Union), and Partia Demokratyczna (Democratic Party).

She has held numerous positions in social welfare organisations. For instance, she was the Chairperson of Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Dzieci (Polish Association of Children's Friends) and a member of Rada Pomocy Społecznej (Council for Social Assistance) at the Polish Ministry of Labour. She is an active member of the Board of Trustees at Fundacja Rozwoju Demokracji Lokalnej (Foundation in Support of Local Democracy) and Akademia Filantropii (Academy for Philanthropy). Since 2011 she has been a member of the Program Board of the Institute of Public Affairs in Poland. She is an honorary member of the Polish Society of Gerontology.

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