We are proud that Pact's staff and Board reflect the world's racial diversity and include members of all elements of the adoption triad (adopted people, adoptive parents and birth parents) and their families. We asked them to share a few thoughts about why they are committed to Pact. We also have an Advisory Board with members who are asked to give feedback and advice to the organization. Click here to see the profile for Pact's Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Emeritus, Gail Steinberg (retired in 2004).

Alan Gellman (Chair) and his wife Arlene are parents to two children, their son who is born to them, and their multiracial daughter (Native American, African American, East Indian, white) whom they adopted across racial lines. Alan is an executive coach and former chief marketing officer at several companies, large and small. He brings his vision and experience in business management, branding and marketing to help Pact expand its reach and impact. "Beth and Pact have opened our eyes to what it means to be a transracial family, even when that fact isn't always obvious to others. Their commitment to the kids first is evident in everything they do, including how they educate all members of the adoption community."

Ojas Rege (Vice Chair) and his wife Jill (an interracial couple—he is East Indian-Canadian and she is white) have adopted two African American children, who are brothers by birth and adoption, and also have an older son born to them. Ojas is Chief Product Officer at One Concern, a high-tech startup focused on climate resilience. "Pact is unique; no one else offers the mix of pragmatism and passion that Beth and the team bring to the complicated world of adoption."

Winslow Holmes (Secretary, Fundraising Chair) is part of an interracial couple (he is British of African descent, his partner is white) who have a son adopted through Pact. He is a software engineer and technology manager. "It is directly attributable to Beth and Pact that our family has been able to articulate our individual and collective feelings about being an adoption family."

Francois Choquette (Treasurer) is a white transracial parent of two African American boys (one adopted through Pact) and one daughter born to him and his partner, Marie-Claude. He is the Executive Vice President of Aon Consulting and a Fellow of the US and Canadian Institute of Actuaries. "Pact has changed my life. It made me realize that I need to do more than just 'love' my two black boys. Pact has been instrumental in helping us as a family to understand the challenges they have to go through every single day of their life."

Marcia Bedford and her husband Ron are an African American couple who adopted their son through foster care. Marcia has worked in private schools for many years and most recently is the Assistant Head and Director of Admissions. She is currently serving as Director of Student Life at Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland, CA. Marcia brings her passion for children and her understanding of their needs to her work for Pact. "The Pact programs have been so important to my family and there is no other institution like it anywhere. I want to be part of ensuring that Pact exists to inform, support and advocate for adoptive families now and in the future."

Christina Feliciana, LCSW, has been teaching in the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and supporting MSW students in their internships since 2007. She teaches courses on child welfare practice, school social work, and an introduction to multi-level practice. She previously was employed as a child welfare worker and as a school social worker. She coordinates the Title IVE program, an intensive curriculum designed to prepare social workers to work in children’s protective services in California. Christina also consults with SOAR for Youth, a foster youth educational advocacy program. Christina and her spouse are fost/adopt parents. Their older daughter joined their family at six months old. When she was nearly two, her biological sister (age three months) joined the family. They have contact with the girls' first mom and feel blessed to raise the sisters together.

Nisha Jalmi Grayson, MS is an international transracial adoptee from Goa, India and the subject of, YOU FOLLOW: A search for one’'s past, a documentary that follows her attempts to reunite with her birth mother. Nisha shares her experiences as a panelist at national adoption conferences, including Pact’s Family Camp West in previous years. She co-facilitates workshops, support groups, and publishes articles for Pact and other adoption nonprofits. Nisha shares her own experiences and highlights the work of other adoptees on her blog, The Adoptee Diary. Nisha currently lives in Oakland and works in Berkeley, CA as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.

Susan Ito is a biracial Asian adoptee, physical therapist, performer and writer. From 2004 through 2010, she served as the Director of Pact Family Camp. She is the co-editor of the anthology Ghost At Heart Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). Her work has appeared in many publications, including Growing Up Asian American, CHOICE, Making More Waves, Hip Mama and Literary Mama. She has developed The Ice Cream Gene as a solo performance piece and memoir in progress. She lives in Oakland with her husband and sometimes her two adult daughters and grandbaby.

Jake Plut is a transracial adult adoptee from California, a graduate of New York University with degrees in Music and Black Cultural Studies. He currently works as a freelance producer and songwriter as well as with the community organization US4US in his native San Francisco. He has been a member of the Pact community since he was 3 years old and is excited to return as a member of the staff again by working with younger adoptees coming up behind him. Jake also serves and a youth mentor and counselor at Pact Camp and in our year-round youth program.

Michael Thompson and his wife Michele are an inter-racial couple (he is African American, she is white) who adopted their multiracial daughter through Pact, and have remained involved in the Pact community ever since. He is an Instructor of History at Chabot College, where he specializes in African American and American History. His work at Chabot also includes his membership in the Daraja Learning Community for African American students, and participation in faculty inquiry groups exploring poverty issues and equity and habits of the mind. “I know of no other organization that puts together the issues of race and adoption like Pact. Pact does this with compassion, intelligence and a mission to advocate and educate.”

Delrisha White holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies with a minor in Global Studies from Bennett College in Greensboro, NC. In 2019, she earned her master’s in Education Policy & Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was awarded the Intellectual Contribution award. Del is a journalist, educator and social impact leader who confronts educational inequity, racial, and socioeconomic injustice through education and storytelling. Her life’s work is a culmination of her experience growing up in a family impacted by poverty, as well as the criminal justice and child welfare systems.

Jeffrey Wilk is the Creative Director and a principal at Tencue Productions, a live communications agency. His family: business and life partner, Kristin, and their two children, the youngest of whom joined the family through foster-adoption, believe in giving back to the community in significant ways. They have been no different with Pact. “Since my son (now a young adult) came to our family, we have been embraced by the Pact community. We have grown with the sometimes gentle, sometimes forceful hand of Pact’s crew of advisors. The voice of Pact should expand. There are so many kids. So many families."

Advisory Board

Annette Carnegie is an African American single parent to two African American boys adopted through Pact, and was herself adopted by relatives as a child. She is currently Senior Counsel for the Kaiser Health Foundation and was formerly a partner at the law firm Morrison & Foerster, which has donated legal services to Pact for many years. "As a Pact client I have experienced firsthand the tremendous expertise and thoughtfulness Pact brings to the adoption experience."

Elayne Chou and her husband, Dan, (she is Chinese-American and he is White) adopted their daughter from Taiwan and are eagerly anticipating adopting their second child through Pact. A psychologist, career coach, and diversity trainer, Elayne has donated consulting services for Pact trainings. In her private practice she specializes in counseling adolescents and adults of color, with a particular emphasis on working with Asian-Americans, including Asian adoptees. “Pact is such a great, unique, and important organization.”

LisaGay Hamilton is an actor and teacher, and she and her husband (both African American) adopted their second son through Pact. "I feel passionately about the work that Pact does and Beth's commitment to a just, anti-racist process. I've learned quite a bit on this journey and I've been shocked by the level of unethical, ill-informed, and racially insensitive practices in the adoption world—public and private. Pact was a breath of fresh air, both for its guidance on these sensitive issues and for its unwavering commitment to open adoption."

Mary Anne Rodgers and her husband John are adoptive parents to Matt and Emily (adopted transracially). Mary Anne currently works as General Counsel for the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. "I met Beth and Gail [Pact's co-founder] when they were first launching Pact, while we worked together on a board. I believe in their integrity to the point where we consulted them for own family's formation. I continue to support their work for children and family."

James Rucker and his wife (they are an interracial couple; he is African American) adopted through Pact, as have several of their friends. James himself is an adoptee who has reunited with his birth family. James is interested in helping Pact scale up their services on a national basis in order to provide its ethical and honest adoption services to more families. He is a co-founder of colorofchange.org, an online activist organization that aims to strengthen the voice of African Americans. He served as Director of Grassroots Mobilization for MoveOn Political and Civic Action from 2003 to 2005, and currently serves on the board of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Emeritus (retired 2004)

Gail Steinberg is the adoptive mom of four grown daughters and sons. Her multiracial family has Korean/Native American, African American and white members. She has six grandchildren and lives in Northern California. Gail specializes in the impossible: building zero-budget dreams into thriving non-profits, connecting people who would not have come together any other way. Gail has amazing vision and passion and was the drive behind the engine that drove Pact in the early years. Her contributions cannot be overstated. More recently she has launched an art support organization with members across the globe, is an encaustic artist and has written a new book on feeling more alive, seeking joy, loving, belonging, and connecting while aging.

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