Ambassador Susan S. Jacobs Introduction
Christopher Kennedy Lawford Introduction
Dr. Janice DeFrances Introduction

Ambassador Susan S. Jacobs
Monday, August 10th, 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Susan S. Jacobs is the Special Advisor for International 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 to 2003 she was the United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and from April 1998 to October 2000 she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Issues in the State Department's Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

Ambassador Jacobs joined the Foreign Service in 1974. Her early assignments included tours as vice consul in Caracas, deputy consul general in Tel Aviv, refugee officer in New Delhi, office director in the State Department's CitizensEmergencyCenter, and special assistant to the Ambassador in San Salvador.

In 1990 she returned to Washington, DC where she served as an office director in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs and then as a Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. In 1994 she was senior policy advisor to the Commission on Immigration Reform, and from 1995 to 1997 she was the US Consul General in Bucharest. A high point of her Bucharest tour was serving as the coordinator for the July, 1996 visit of First Lady Hillary Clinton. In 1997 she attended the Senior Seminar, a nine-month advanced professional development program designed for senior foreign policy officials in the United States Government.

Ambassador Jacobs graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she was a Regents Scholar, and later studied at Georgetown University Law School and the George Washington University. She has received numerous awards, including the Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award, its Superior Honor Award, and the Community Achievement Award in New Delhi.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford
Monday, August 6th, 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Born into political and film royalty, Christopher Kennedy Lawford, nephew of President John F. Kennedy, spent much of his life in Hollywood and Washington, navigating these two worlds as an actor, writer, lawyer, activist and public speaker. However, before his successes, Mr. Lawford battled a drug and alcohol addiction for much of his early life. In recovery for more than 24 years, he shares his personal story with others in hopes to make a difference.

In 2000, Mr. Lawford was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. He was successfully treated and is now virus free. For the past five years he has worked extensively with numerous partners in the private industry, the non-profit sector, state and federal governments and patient advocacy groups to effect change and raise awareness about these two very important public health issues. Presently Mr. Lawford is working with the United Nations, the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, and the World Health Organization with the goal of raising awareness globally about addiction steps and hepatitis. In 2011, Mr. Lawford was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime to promote activities supporting drug treatment, care, and recovery.

As the author of the New York Times bestseller Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption, Mr. Lawford illuminates his extraordinary life and the tragedies he has faced, offering a cohesive message of survival, hope, and inspiration. Mr. Lawford released his second New York Times bestseller, Moments of Clarity, in January 2009, a book of spiritual epiphanies enabling those who experienced them to move from addiction to recovery. In May of 2009, Harper Collins released his third book, Healing Hepatitis C. Mr. Lawford is currently at work on his fourth book under the working title Everything You Need to Know about Healing Bad Habits: From 50 of the World's Top Experts on Addiction, Recovery, and Co-dependency.

Mr. Lawford holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University, a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School and a Masters Certification in Clinical Psychology from Harvard Medical School where he gained an academic appointment as a Lecturer on Psychiatry.

Dr. Janice DeFrances
Tuesday, August 7th, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Dr. DeFrances is an experienced scholastic leader and mental health advocate with a proven history of innovative and effective program development and team building. In July 2011, she was appointed Director of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. Prior to her new role, Dr. DeFrances served for thirty five years in both the public and private sector as a school principal, special education director, and CEO of Harmony Hill School, Inc., a COA accredited organization.

Dr. DeFrances holds two masters degrees, one in special education and the other in counseling, a doctorate in administration/special education, and a post-doctorate in neuropsychology. In addition to her duties at the Department of Children, Youth and Families, she continues to work as an educator and researcher, with a focus in the areas of child development, holistic education, and mental health, while applying theory to practice with the goal of developing effective social service programs for children, youth and families.

Dr. DeFrances has been an adjunct faculty member in the graduate program for Teaching and Learning in Art and Designat the Rhode Island School of Design for twenty-five years.


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