Hard-Hitting Concepts that Make a Difference

Lunchtime Session, Thursday, May 2

Hear what’s on the minds of top thought leaders in the business, government, academic and nonprofit sector when they can’t sleep at night:  the cutting-edge ideas and insights that carry huge potential to impact lives.  Each leader will share a tightly-crafted 7-minute “TED talk”-style presentation on one big idea they believe every orphan advocate should ponder.


Brian Fikkert

We Are Not the Goal

DR. BRIAN FIKKERT is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, a research and training center that is dedicated to helping churches and missionaries to declare the kingdom of God by bringing economic development and spiritual transformation to the poor.




Senator-LandrieuReforming Government to Prioritize Family First

SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU  is currently the Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and a member of the Energy and Natural Resources, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees.



Dave Anderson

The Church as an Alternative to the U.S. Foster System

DAVE ANDERSON is the Exector Director of Lydia Home and Founder of Safe Families and Youshare. Lydia Home provides solutions for families in crisis, help for the hurting and a home for abused children; LYDIA is going where the need is greatest.




Russell Moore

How the Orphan Care Movement Could Wreck Itself…& What’s Needed to Avoid It

DR. RUSSELL MOORE  is the Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Seminary.  He is the author of Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ; Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches; and The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective.



Carissa Woodwyk

LISTEN: Why we must listen to the beauty and the brokenness in every adoptee’s story, and how doing so might just change all of us.

CARISSA WOODWYK is a Korean-born adoptee, writer, speaker, counselor/marriage and family therapist, wife, mom, advocate for the human heart. In each of these roles, she offers her story and voice in ways that invite people to connect with themselves, with others, with God. She is a co-author of Before You Were Mine: Discovering Your Adopted Child’s Lifestory. She and her husband have two children and live near Grand Rapids, MI.



Robert Glover

From Isolated Institution to Hub of Family-Based Care

ROBERT GLOVER is the Founder and Executive Director of Care for Children and an advisor to the Chinese Government of social welfare for disadvantaged children.  Care for Children exists to relieve hardship, distress and sickness in abandoned and orphaned children in Asia by the introduction of strategic initiatives in local family placement care as an alternative to institutional care, at the request of, and in cooperation with, government authorities.




Karyn Purvis

Connection: God’s Big Idea

DR. KARYN PURVIS is the founder and director of the TCU Institute of Child Development and a passionate advocate for “children from hard places.”  A noted author, scholar and popular speaker, Dr. Purvis holds a PhD in developmental psychology from TCU in Fort Worth, TX.





Africa’s Families Represent the Very Best Hope for Africa’s Orphans

TENDAI MASIRIRI is a native of Zimbabwe and he oversees Bethany programs in four other African countries: Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, and South Africa.  He directs and manages a spectrum of child-welfare services which include family preservation and strengthening; foster-family care and indigenous adoption services for orphans and other highly vulnerable children in Africa.



Craig Juntunen

Breaking the Paper Chains

CRAIG JUNTUNEN is the founder and president of the Both Ends Burning Campaign. A child welfare advocate and a passionate believer in international adoption, Juntunen is the author of Both Ends Burning: My Story of Adopting Three Children from Haiti and the Executive Producer of the acclaimed documentary STUCK.




Neil Boothby

How the U.S. Action Plan for Children in Adversity Can Drive a Fundamental Change in Our Response to the Needs of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

DR. NEIL BOOTHBY is the Allan Rosenfield Professor of Clinical Forced Migration and Health, and has been named the U.S. Government’s Special Adviser and Senior Coordinator for Children in Adversity. He is the senior adviser for children in low and middle income countries as well as coordinating U.S. assistance to vulnerable children among U.S. departments and agencies.



Ambassador Susan JacobsThe Single Most Important Factor in Ensuring Ethical Inter-Country Adoption…and How to Pursue It

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.