Beth Hall
Co-Founder and Executive Director
E-mail: beth@pactadopt.org

Beth Hall is the white adoptive mother of a Latina daughter and an African American son (both now young adults), and grew up with an adopted sister. She co-founded Pact in 1991 to combat the discrimination she witnessed against adopted children of color and their birth families. Since that time, she has facilitated the placement of over 1000 infants of color into strong, loving homes. She is the co-author, with Gail Steinberg, of the book Inside Transracial Adoption (Perspectives Press, 2000), as well as numerous articles on adoption and race. She is a nationally known advocate for adopted children of color who regularly lectures and leads workshops on ethical, non-racist adoption practices. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. To learn more about Beth including information about her publications, speaking engagements, and various film clips she has appeared in, click here.

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David Allen
Director of Operations, Development
E-mail: david.allen@pactadopt.org

David Allen is the Director of Operations, Development. A transplant from the Midwest, David is a South-Korean adoptee with a background in nonprofit administration and leadership. Born in Pusan, Korea, David (then, Nam Byun Yong), was an orphan from ages three to four before being adopted into an American family. David’s bachelor includes training in business administration, finance, and accounting while his master’s program explored the how faith-communities could contribute to social change that leads to a more just world. David enjoys working for Pact as it intersects his personal experience and story with his professional skill sets. When he’s not contributing to Pact’s mission, David will most likely be found on his bicycle.

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Aaryn Belfer
Point of View Editor
E-mail: editor@pactadopt.org

Aaryn Belfer is the editor of the Pact Point of View, Pact's e-Newsletter, and various other Pact communications. Aaryn works part-time by day as a clinical research coordinator, one member of a talented team looking for a cure for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). She is a writer by night, penning a biweekly column at San Diego CityBeat, and works as a copy editor and freelance writer during the witching hours. She likes to write, run, practice yoga, play tennis, travel, and do just about anything under the sun (except for bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, deep see diving, or laundry). Spending time with her transracially adopted daughter, Ruby, and her husband, Sam is paramount to everything. No matter what hat she is wearing, she approaches all tasks with an eye on social justice, anti-racism, and equality, including advocating appropriately on behalf of the often-marginalized members of the adoption triad: adoptees and first parents.

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David Berwick
Website Administrator
E-mail: david@pactadopt.org

David Berwick, a Colombian adoptee, has a background in non-profit, business, and website administration. His personal experience as an adopted person who came to the US at age five has made him a compassionate individual who values diversity and the nuanced approach to adoption and race that Pact embodies. Based on his own experience as a child placed with his two siblings into a white American family, he understands the importance of giving children access to their truth and voice to their feelings about adoption and race.

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Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander
First/Birth Family Specialist
E-mail: susan@pactadopt.org

Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander, LMFT is a first mother, transracial adoptee, and a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in the adoption and foster care triads. As First/Birth Family Specialist, Susan focuses on the needs of expectant parents considering adoption, and first/birth families of who have placed children of color for adoption. Susan placed her daughter for adoption in 2001 in an “open” adoption which was subsequently closed by her daughter’s adoptive parents. She was transracially adopted as an infant and, with the support of her adoptive parents, reunited with her first families as a teenager. Susan envisions a world where all expectant parents and first/birth parents are fully empowered, accurately informed, and emotionally supported, in order to make the best decisions for their children and themselves.

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Marsha Hiller
Transracial Adoption Specialist
E-mail: marshahiller@pactadopt.org

Marsha Hiller, MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in North Berkeley. She specializes in working with multiracial families, adoptive families, and folks in the LGBTQ community. She is full-time faculty at California Institute of Integral Studies in the Somatic Psychology program. At Pact, she has led groups for and provides therapy and consultation to transracial adoptive parents. She and her wife of 34 years have had the privilege of raising their 2 young adult transracial adoptee children from infancy.

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Susan Ito
Adult Adoptee Advisor
E-mail: susanito@pactadopt.org

Susan Ito is a biracial Asian adoptee, teacher, and writer. She has served as the beloved director of Pact Camp from 2004 to 2011 and is now Head of Pact's Adult Adoptee Advisory Board. She is also a board member of Pact, and on the advisory team for the Adoption Museum Project. Her book "A Ghost At Heart's Edge is one of the few literary anthologies focused on all members of the adoption triad. Her writing has appeared in many publications, including Growing Up Asian American, CHOICE, Making More Waves, Hip Mama and Literary Mama,where she is creative nonfiction editor and former columnist. Susan's solo performance piece on adoption, The Ice Cream Gene, has been performed nationally. She lives in Oakland with her husband, two daughters and mother.

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Lisa Kelly
Youth Coordinator
E-mail: lisa@pactadopt.org

Lisa Kelly, a biracial (Black/white) adoptee, has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and is a 5th grade teacher in Berkeley Unified School District. She and her brother were adopted transracially by white parents. Lisa understands the importance of adoptees of color coming together to collectively explore and learn about their culture, ancestry, and identity.

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Deanna Matthews
Pact Family Camp Director & Education Specialist
E-mail: deanna@pactadopt.org

Deanna Matthews is a biracial (African American/white) single parent who has found great commonality between her own experience of racial ambiguity and that of many adoptees of color. She brings that understanding to all her work at Pact, as well as a passion for educating adults and supporting children in defining their identity in positive ways in a racialized world. She has been involved in organizing Pact Family Camp since 2009, and became Camp Director in 2011.

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Kim Olenic
Transracial Adoption Specialist
E-mail: kim@pactadopt.org

Kim Olenic, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works with adoptive parents, birthparents, and adoptees of all ages in agency and private practice settings. She specializes in the areas of domestic adoption, international adoption and transracial adoption. Kim is also a transracial adoptee, who was adopted from South Korea at the age of three. She has gone through the birth parent search process, and was reunited with her birthmother as a teenager. Her professional training coupled with her personal experience as a transracial adoptee gives her a dynamic understanding of adoption as a lifelong journey.

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Malaika Parker
Family of Color Specialist
E-mail: malaika@pactadopt.org

Malaika Parker works with adoptive parents of color (and their parenting partners) to design resources and create community for same-race adoptive families. As an African American adoptive parent, she understands how hard-and important-it is for same-race adoptive parents to find resources that apply to their own family dynamics as opposed to those that apply to transracial families.

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Chavonna Perkins
Office Manager
E-mail: info@pactadopt.org

Chavonna Perkins is a single African American mother of 2 boys, that are multi-racial; African American and Puerto Rican. Her background includes serving her community in the non profit sector of workforce development; facilitating many training classes for dislocated workers and providing tangible employment opportunities for the underserved. Chavonna has always been very passionate about the family unit and is excited to be a part of an organization that focuses on exactly that. When she is not trying to save the world or doing her best at embodying Super Mom, she is cooking up a storm in the kitchen; Chef style, compliments of Le Cordon Blue San Francisco, or you may catch her in a quiet corner with a good book.

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Michele Rabkin
Communications Specialist
E-mail: michele@pactadopt.org

Michele Rabkin and her African American husband adopted their multiracial daughter with help from Pact. Michele is tremendously grateful for all that Pact does to create and support families like her own. In addition to working as a university administrator, she does free-lance writing and editing for Pact and other organizations she cares about.

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Katie Stickles-Wynen
Pre-Placement Adoption Specialist
LGBTQ Advocate
E-mail: katie@pactadopt.org

Katie Stickles-Wynen, MSW, a Colombian adoptee, has a Masters in Social Work. After college, Katie worked at Hyde School in CT where she helped design a program for adopted youth and parents. Katie studied under Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao in Boston before moving to California and joining the Pact staff where she leads groups, works with tweens and teens and provides psycho-educational counseling to pre-adoptive parents.

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