Board of Directors

Susan Jacobs

Susan Jacobs

Chair of ISS Governing Board

Susan Jacobs joined the Board in May of 2017. Ms. Jacobs has decades of experience in child protection, child welfare, and international affairs. She most recently held the role of Special Advisor at the U.S. State Department Office of Children’s Issues. Before that, 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.

In the early 2000s, she acted as the United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Issues in the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs. Ms. Jacobs graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and later studied at Georgetown University Law School and George Washington University.

Dr. Allison Blake

Dr. Allison Blake

Chair

Dr. Allison Blake joined the board in September 2018. She has more than 30 years’ experience serving children and families through direct services, and by promoting and implementing policies to improve the formal systems children and families rely on, and by fostering research practice partnerships to strengthen decision-making and service delivery. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a multi-service community based organization providing mental health services, child welfare services, early care and education services, and school based health services. Dr. Blake also served as a senior fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she worked with states to implement the new Family First Prevention Services Act. Previously, Dr. Blake served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. Under her leadership, the department successfully implemented an integrated, strategic approach to delivering child welfare services. This approach promoted evidence informed, community-based services to support children, parents and older youth. She also led the state’s long term recovery efforts for children and families following Super Storm Sandy. In recognition of her leadership, she was appointed by USHHS Secretary Burwell to the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters, where she co-chaired the Human Services Working Group. She previously served as Founding Director of the Institute for Families at Rutgers University School of Social Work and vice president of accreditation operations at the Council on Accreditation. Dr. Blake earned a master’s degree in social work from Rutgers University and a PhD in social work from Fordham University. She is a member of the National Board of Directors of the Child Welfare League of America.

 

Stacey Floam

Stacey Floam

Vice-Chair

Stacey Floam joined the board in September, 2018. Ms. Floam began working for Guidehouse LLP as a Senior Consultant in February 2020. Her focus is in the risk consulting practice for federal clients, working to implement, support and/or assess enterprise risk management programs, support or conduct risk assessments, and complete other risk activities at clients’ request. Prior to her position at Guidehouse LLP, Ms. Floam held numerous risk management and compliance positions at T. Rowe Price, E*TRADE Financial Corporation, and SunTrust Banks, Inc. Stacey has a Bachelors of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration from Stevenson University and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from University of Baltimore.

Joao Roquetti

João Roquetti

Treasurer

João Roquetti is currently at Brother International Corporation, where he leads the Pricing and Contracts team for one of the multinational’s divisions in the US. He serves as a member of the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity and Inclusion Committees, as well as the leader of one of their Corporate Culture transformation teams. Previously, he worked in the medical devices industry and was also a restauranteur for some time.

João has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Rutgers University, with a concentration in Global Business (issued with an academic program from Brazil’s Fundação Getúlio Vargas), as well as certifications and accreditations from industry-renowned IPED’s Channel Masters Program, Brother’s distinguished Manager Excellence Leadership Program, and Project Management from NYU.

Dr. T'Pring Westbrook

Dr. T’Pring Westbrook

Secretary

Dr. T’Pring Westbrook joined the board in June 2019. She is a Senior Associate for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As a member of the Research, Evaluation, Evidence, and Data (REED) unit at the foundation, Dr. Westbrook manages a portfolio that encompasses two-generation approaches, community development, economic mobility, child and adult education, and housing. Additionally, Dr. Westbrook has an interest in evidence-based programs (EBPs) and regularly presents and consults on issues related to implementing, evaluating, and communicating about EBPs. Prior to coming to the Foundation, she was a Social Science Research Analyst with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. While at OPRE, Dr. Westbrook’s portfolio included research and evaluation in early childhood education and development, home visiting, child welfare, and evidence-based policy and practice. Throughout her career, Dr. Westbrook has presented at national conferences, published in and served as editor for refereed journals, and served on numerous committees and advisory groups.

Dr. Westbrook received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University and a PhD in human development from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Stephen Cullen

Stephen Cullen

Stephen Cullen joined the board in November of 2015. Mr. Cullen is the head of Miles & Stockbridge’s Family Law & Private Clients Group. He represents parents and children in state, interstate, UCCJEA and international family and child law cases and is an expert on the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

He has handled more of these types of cases under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction than any other practice in the world and, two years ago, argued Chafin v. Chafin before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Cullen is also the director of Miles & Stockbridge’s Pro Bono Advocacy Program and was recently named among the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland’s (PBRC) 25th Anniversary Honorees for his service to the disadvantaged in Maryland.

Gene Grabowski

Gene Grabowski

Gene Grabowski joined the board in December 2013. Mr. Grabowski is one of the world’s foremost authorities on litigation and crisis communications. He is currently a Partner at the Washington, DC, communications firm kglobal, where he focuses on public relations, issues management, crisis communications, digital strategy, and business development.

Previously, Mr. Grabowski served as Executive Vice President of Levick Strategic Communications, where he earned a reputation for creating and implementing high-level strategic communications plans, conducting effective media training and working with the national news media for Fortune 500 companies, major law firms, professional services companies, and government agencies. Mr. Grabowski completed his graduate studies in management from the University of Michigan.

Alen Amini

Alen Amini

Alen Amini is currently a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group, and is a term member on the Council of Foreign Relations. A former Fulbright scholar, he previously served as a high school math teacher and vice principal in Southeast Arkansas through Teach For America. Alen is a recent graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper and was the student body president, and the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business.

Vicki Politis

Vicki Politis

Vicki Politis is the founder and CEO of DoubleP Consulting LLC, providing M&A advisory and business growth services to mid-market companies. Previously, Vicki was the Chief Executive Officer and an executive member of the Board of Directors of Eltrak S.A., a company listed in the Athens Stock Exchange. Prior to Eltrak, she was an M&A consultant in Houston and London and an investment and fundraising manager at Emporiki Venture Capital, a Southern European VC fund. Early in her career, Vicki assisted with the formation and launch of Burren Energy – later listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Vicki holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Yale University as well as an MBA from the University of Strathclyde in the UK. She serves as a member of the Yale Alumni Schools Committee, interviewing prospective students applying to Yale College. A fierce advocate of women entrepreneurs, Vicki is Managing Director of Golden Seeds Angel Network and a member of 37 angels, investing groups focused on investing in and empowering women-owned startups. She is also a mentor at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

Hyacinth Miller

Hyacinth Miller is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Rutgers University – Newark School of Arts and Sciences African American and African Studies and Political Science Departments. She has also worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Her research focuses on Caribbean immigrants in the Diaspora, immigrant women and women of color in elected leadership, immigrant political incorporation and comparative politics.  Hyacinth has conducted original research and presented conference papers on the subject of West Indians in the US, West Indians in elected office in New Jersey, Haitian Americans in the United States and on multiple citizenship policies in the Caribbean.

Prior to working for Rutgers University, Hyacinth spent more than 10 years working as a government affairs analyst and lobbyist and staffer to elected officials on the city and federal levels. She has also served as a criminal justice program associate and fundraising professional.

 

Robert Keith

Robert Keith joined the Board in 2022.  He previously served for twenty-four years as the Associate General Counsel for the Children, Families and Aging Division of the Office of the General Counsel in the United States Department of Health and Human Services. His portfolio included the programs of the Administration for Children and Families and the Administration for Community Living.  Mr. Keith began his legal career as a trial and appellate attorney for the Iowa Attorney General where he pioneered advances in paternity litigation.  In 1982 he was hired as counsel for the HHS’ Office of Child Support Enforcement.  He has argued cases before the Supreme Courts of Iowa and California and in the 6th, 8th, 9th, and 11th Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.  From 2003-2007 Mr. Keith was a Member of the U.S. Delegation negotiating the 2007 Convention on Child and Family Maintenance and also served on the Drafting Committee.

Catherine Ceniza Choy

Catherine Ceniza Choy is professor of ethnic studies and associate dean of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice in the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. Before that, she was an assistant professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is the author of the books Asian American Histories of the United StatesGlobal Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America, and Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History, and the co-editor of the anthology Gendering the Trans-Pacific World. An engaged public scholar, she has been interviewed in many media outlets, including ABC 20/20, The Atlantic, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, NBC News, the New York Times, ProPublica, the San Francisco Chronicle, Time, and Vox.

Brett Barfield

Brett Barfield spent two decades honing the craft of litigation at an AmLaw 100 law firm.

He represents domestic and international businesses and individuals in a wide variety of disputes. He partners with his clients to formulate the most effective and efficient strategy for their individual case, including consideration of informal negotiations, mediation, arbitration, litigation, and trial, often involving multiple U.S. and foreign forums. Brett’s clients operate in industries such as technology, health care, real estate, manufacturing and distribution, and numerous service industries and professions.

Brett has also represented more than 100 clients seeking the return of their children abducted into the U.S. from abroad, using the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Very active with the Federal Bar Association, Brett has held both local and national officer roles. He has been recognized numerous years by Florida Super Lawyers and Florida Trend magazines as a leading business litigation attorney in Florida, and he is a past recipient of the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award.

Brett frequently lectures, including recently as a professor teaching federal court civil procedure and legal writing at the St. Thomas University College of Law.

Following law school, Brett served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edward B. Davis, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.