JCICS 2002 Board Members

Date: 2002-06-02
Source: JCICS

Meet the Joint Council Board

The current Joint Council Board is composed of ten members; additionally, the Executive Director serves as an Ex Officio Board member. Five of the current Board members served on the Board last year, while five were elected to the Board at the Joint Council Conference in June.

Debbie Riley, President

Ms. Riley was Vice President of the Board last year. She is the Executive Director of The Center for Adoption Support and Education, Inc. (CASE) in Maryland. She holds a Master's degree in marriage and family therapy. For the first 25 years of her career, she focused on adolescent mental health, treating thousands of teens in outpatient, inpatient, and community mental health settings. Since 1993, she has been involved exclusively in the adoption arena, creating a variety of post-adoption programs, including therapies and educational and support services, in the Washington, DC area. She is a nationally known presenter on adoption and adolescent mental health issues. She also serves on the Research and Practice Committee of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute; the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth, and Families; and the Montgomery County Operation Runaway Community Coalition.

Deborah McFadden, Vice President

Ms. McFadden was the Board Treasurer last year. She is the Executive Director of International Children's Alliance, in Washington, DC. and the mother of two children from Eastern Europe. For much of her career, she has focused on advocacy for children and adults with disabilities. She has served as Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during the administration of President George Bush. She has also provided consulting services to foreign governments, as well as to U.S. companies and educational institutions, regarding programs that foster independence, productivity, and integration into society for people with disabilities. She serves on numerous boards and committees. This year, as part of her Joint Council activities, she will chair the Directors' Exchange, which will attempt to identify pressing concerns of adoption agency directors and outline proposed solutions.

Judy Stigger
, Secretary

Ms. Stigger is new to the Board, but has been involved with Joint Council for seven years. An LCSW, she is Curriculum Director for The Cradle in Illinois, and develops on-line and in-person educational programs for families touched by adoption. She has previously served as that organization's Director of International Adoption Services. She is a frequent speaker on infertility and adoption issues, and has written two books on these topics. As the mother of transracially adopted children, she has also spoken and written about the preparation of transracially and transculturally adoptive families. She was named an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. Because of her particular interest in education, she serves as liaison to the Joint Council Education Committee.

Lynn Wetterberg
, Treasurer

Ms. Wetterberg, new to the Board, is Director of the Uniting Families Foundation, a small agency in Illinois that has received COA accreditation. She is a CPA and also holds an MS degree in human services administration. Her undergraduate training was in elementary education, and she worked in a school district for seven years. She has testified before Congress on international adoption issues, and has presented seminars on adoption in the U.S. and abroad. She has also organized a program in Croatia, which trained health workers, social workers, and religious leaders to recognize and treat post traumatic stress disorder in rape victims. She is the mother of children adopted from Eastern Europe. She serves as one of two Board liaisons to the Ethics and Professional Services Committee,

Melody Zhang
, Membership Chair

Ms. Zhang continues in this Board position. Born in China, she received her undergraduate training in journalism there, then received her MSW degree in the United States. She has worked in international adoption since 1992, with a particular interest in placement of older and special needs children, and is currently Associate Director for Children's Hope International in Missouri. She was involved in starting the JCICS China Caucus, and has overseen Joint Council's dramatic increase in membership over the past two years. She is Board liaison to the COA Committee, which is charged with developing a plan to assist members applying for accreditation.

Margaret Orr
Ms. Orr continues her Board service and her role as liaison to the Humanitarian Aid Committee. She was one of the founders of Small Miracles International, in Oklahoma, and became Executive Director of that organization in 1987; she still holds that position. She was also a founder of the Oklahoma Council on Adoptable Children, and served as its first President. In addition she was the first chairperson of the Oklahoma Coalition for Adoption Reform. Ms. Orr is the mother of 11 children, most internationally adopted.

Janice Neilson
Ms. Neilson continues her Board service and her role as liaison to the Joint Council Media and Public Relations Committee. The Executive Director of the World Association for Children and Parents in since 1983, she has overseen the placement of over 7,000 children and humanitarian aid programs serving over 100,000 children. She is a well-known speaker, both nationally and internationally, on adoption issues. She has served on the Washington State Adoption Commission, is on the Advisory Committee of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and was a member of Washington State Governor Gary Locke's delegation to China to build partnerships between that country and the U.S. She has particular interest in the appropriate representation of adoption and child advocacy issues in the media, and has received coverage in Time Magazine, Life Magazine, the New York Times, and many regional publications, as well as on the Oprah Winfrey Show and a show featuring waiting children.

Crystal Chaya

Ms. Chaya, a new Board member, is the China Coordinator for Hope for Children in Georgia. An attorney, she helped to draft regulations governing international adoption agencies located in Georgia. She also practiced in such areas as Immigration, Social Security, and Worker' Compensation. Early in her career, she served as an intern in the office of Congressman Ben Jones and also in the Decatur-DeKalb Bar Association. She is currently studying to obtain an MSW degree. With Ms. Wetterberg, she is Board liaison to the Ethics and Professional Services Committee.

Sam Pitkowsky
New to the Board, Mr. Pitkowsky is the current Vice President of the Adoptive Parents Committee, Inc. (APC), a parent support group serving over 3,000 New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut families. He is also President of the New York City chapter. He has represented APC at Joint Council, the Hague Alliance, and the Advisory Council on Intercountry Adoption (ACIA); he serves on the Executive Board of ACIA. He has provided testimony on Capitol Hill, chaired and co-chaired APC conferences, and led workshops for the Open Door Society and NACAC conferences. He has two children adopted from Latin America. He serves as liaison to the Joint Council Federal Legislation and Hague Committee.

Hannah Wallace

Ms. Wallace, who has previously served as Vice President of the Joint Council Board,is the Founder and Director of Adoptions International, Inc. in Pennsylvania. She has served as a social worker, is a certified family therapist, and has been a counselor at an alternative school for adolescents. She has a particular interest in Guatemala, and has played a major role in developing the Guatemala Caucus. One of her children was adopted from Latin America. She now serves as liaison to all of the country caucuses and the Local Service caucus.

Sharon Kaufman
, Executive Director.
Ms. Kaufman came to Joint Council a year ago, after a career in health care management and management consulting. With an MS in health policy and management, she has provided consulting services in the areas of strategic and program planning, organizational development, mergers and acquisitions, and operations improvement to large and small hospitals around the country. She has also been a hospital Vice-President, as well as Director of Strategic Planning for a multi-hospital system. She has spoken and written articles on health care management, and has guest lectured at two major universities. Early in her career, she also served as an elementary school teacher. She also served as President of a condominium Board of Directors, as publicity chair for a cultural organization, and as a patient care volunteer at a children's hospital. The mother of a child from China, she has been active in adoptive parent groups in the Washington, DC area.

For more information contact

Joint Council on International Children's Services
Sharon Kaufman, Executive Director
1320 Nineteenth Street, N.W.
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-429-0400
Fax: 202-429-0410



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