As the Director of the NASW Center for Workforce Studies, Dr. Whitaker is responsible for conducting studies and disseminating information about the professional social work labor force, as well as implementing innovative training programs in emerging areas of practice. Prior to this position, Dr. Whitaker held management positions at NASW with responsibility for policy and social work practice, international and equity programs, and government relations and political action.

Dr. Whitaker's social work experience includes work with individuals, organizations and community systems. She has served as the executive director of a transitional center serving women who were experiencing homelessness, substance addiction and mental health issues; as a court monitor overseeing the deinstitutionalization of St. Elizabeth's Hospital and the simultaneous development of community-based mental health services in the District of Columbia; and as the deputy director of a federally-funded, national resource center that supported and examined issues related to the behavioral health of women across the life cycle. Dr. Whitaker received her DSW and MSW from Howard University.