Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker:
Joe Kroll
Executive Director- 
North American Council On Adoptable Children

Joe Kroll, an adoptive and birth father became involved with NACAC in 1975 and has served as NACAC’s executive director since 1985.  As executive director, Mr. Kroll has taken NACAC from a small grassroots organization to an acclaimed nonprofit that serves thousands of adoptive parents each year and strives to improve the child welfare system for foster children and the families who care for them.

A passionate advocate for children, Mr. Kroll is responsible for the implementation of NACAC Board policies to achieve full implementation of the Adoption and Child Welfare Act of 1980, the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, increased placement in adoptive families of waiting special needs children, especially minority children, and to improve post adoption services to adoptive families.

He spearheaded advocacy and training programs at NACAC with adoptive parent groups and private and public adoption agency staff in 25 states to identify barriers to adoption and programs to address problems. Successful outcomes from his efforts includes establishment of photo listing books, expansion of subsidized adoption programs, minority family recruitment programs, and citizen input into foster care review.

Mr. Kroll is the author of countless publications such as “Countering the Call for Orphanages”, “Barriers to Same Race Placement”, “NACAC: User’s Guide to P. L. 96-272" and “There is a Better Way: Family Based Alternatives to Institutional Care” and a founder and board member of Voice for Adoption.

On a daily basis, his work includes talking with individual families about how to obtain post-adoption support, to training parent group leaders and other foster and adoptive parents, to testifying before Congress and speaking at the White House to achieve needed system reforms to better serve vulnerable children and families. He remains committed to achieving system reform by building a network of adoptive families at the grassroots level.

By bringing together parents, professionals, and policy makers for more than two decades at NACAC, Mr. Kroll has significantly improved the lives of adoptive families throughout the U.S. and Canada.

 

Keynote Speaker:
Susan Jacobs
Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Ambassador

Susan Jacobs is the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues.  She was a Senior Policy Advisor in the Bureau of Consular Affairs and previously served as the Bureau’s liaison to the Department of Homeland Security.  From 2000-2003 she was the United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.  From April 1998 to October 2000 she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Issues in the State Department's Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

Ambassador Jacobs joined the Foreign Service in 1974.  Her early assignments included tours as vice consul in Caracas, deputy consul general in Tel Aviv, refugee officer in New Delhi, office director in the State Department's Citizens Emergency Center, and special assistant to the Ambassador in San Salvador.

In 1990 she returned to Washington, DC where she served as an office director in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs and then as a Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs.  In 1994 she was senior policy advisor to the Commission on Immigration Reform, and from 1995 to 1997 she was the U.S. Consul General in Bucharest. A high point of her Bucharest tour was serving as the coordinator for the July, 1996 visit of First Lady Hillary Clinton. In 1997 she attended the Senior Seminar, a nine-month advanced professional development program designed for senior foreign policy officials in the United States Government.

Ambassador Jacobs graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she was a Regents Scholar, and later studied at Georgetown University Law School and the George Washington University.  She has received numerous awards, including the Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award, its Superior Honor Award; and the Community Achievement Award in New Delhi.