Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Seeks New Executive Director

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s former executive director Becky Weichhand on stage at the Angels in Adoption Gala. Weichhand died from cancer in 2018. Photo courtesy of CCAI.

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) has begun the search for a new executive director according to an announcement last week.

The nonprofit institute has been under the leadership of interim executive director Bethany Haley since the organization’s long-time executive director Becky Weichhand died of cancer in late 2018. Just 36-years-old, Weichhand had led the organization for four years, but had worked under her predecessor Kathleen Strottman for a number of years before that.

For the past year, Haley, a veteran Capitol Hill staffer who had worked for Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) previously, has filled the executive director role temporarily. Haley announced her departure this week and plan to focus on her family.

“We are deeply grateful to Bethany for her service this past year, and for the many years in which she was a strong ally of CCAI on Capitol Hill,” said Landrieu, chair of CCAI’s Board of Directors, in a press release. “We fully understand the challenge of balancing family and work, and support her decision to place her family’s need first.”

Bethany Haley has served as the interim executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute since December 2019. Photo courtesy of CCAI.

CCAI was founded in 2001 by former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) with other congressional leaders who wanted to raise awareness about adoption issues at the federal level and educate members of Congress. The nonprofit educates members of Congress on issues related to private and international adoptions, as well as adoptions from foster care, and retains an advisory council that includes several members of Congress.

In addition to its advisory role, the organization has grown to include several programs, including its well-known Angels in Adoption awards gala that is hosted every year in Washington, D.C. The organization’s Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI) brings about a dozen current and former foster youth to D.C. each summer for internships on Capitol Hill and to create a collection of child welfare policy recommendations.

CCAI is launching a national search for a new executive director with the hopes of having someone in place by March. 1.

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Kim Phagan-Hansel, Managing Editor, The Chronicle of Social Change
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