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Welcome to the 2016 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk! The Sched will help you customize and plan your conference experience. For greater utility, you can download the app too! See you April 20-22 in Washington DC.  #iStandinDC
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Wednesday, April 20
 

10:00am

IPCA Day on Capitol Hill
All parents and guests should meet at the iStand Hospitality House at 9:00 AM EDT to prepare for pre-arranged Constitutent Calls and meetings with key House and Senate staffers for personal cases and cause-related advocacy.  iStand Parent Network is coordinating with each attendee to schedule meetings in advance. 


 


Wednesday April 20, 2016 10:00am - 3:00pm
U.S. Capitol East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004

4:00pm

Congress United for America's Stolen Children: Connecting and Creating Action
This event is by invitation only. 

Join fellow parents, members of Congress, congressional staff and the Coalition to End International Parental Child Abduction for our 2016 Congressional Briefing & Reception: 

Congress United for America’s Stolen Children: Connecting and Creating Action

Congress United  is bipartisan event to educate and empower members of Congress to act for American children and to connect parent-constituents with key congressional actors for their children's cases and for the cause to prevent and end IPCA. 

After remarks from our Congressional guests, leadership from the Coalition will share the historical arc of IPCA legislation and federal implementation and underscore the unifying potential for Congress to rally around America's stolen children.  

We are pleased to welcome students from California University of Pennsylvania to present the initial findings of our new Mapping Project.  The Mapping Project illustrates the home states and districts of abducted children, corresponding countries of abduction and the names and contact information for their Congressional delegations.

CalU students will present the 'beta' version of the Mapping Project and discuss the tremendous potential  of the initiative to put little faces with names and map the scale of domestic and global scale of IPCA.

After the Briefing, guests are encouraged to stay for a reception featuring heavy hor-d'ouevres, desserts and bar.

*Conference participant admission is included in registration" 


Speakers
avatar for U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

Democratic Whip, U.S. Congress
Congressman Hoyer advocates for his constituent, Edeanna Barbirou, in returning her son, Eslam, home from abduction to Tunia.   | | As House Democratic Whip for the 114th Congress, Congressman Hoyer is the second-ranking member of the House Democratic Leadership. He is charged with mobilizing the party vote on important legislation, acting as a liaison between Members and the Democratic Leadership, and coordinating strategy within... Read More →
avatar for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

iStand Parent Network Inc. honors U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, even as he continues to honor parents of abducted children, first through relentless advocacy for his Kentucky constituents, Dr. Noelle Hunter and her daughter, Muna, and now by hosting the 2016 Congressonial Briefing & Reception - Congress United for America's Stolen Children: Connecting & Creating Action.   | | Mitch McConnell is the Senate Majority... Read More →
avatar for U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows

U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows

Representative 11th District, NC, U.S. House of Representatives
We are honored to welcome Congressman Mark Meadows for opening remarks at our Congressional Briefing & Reception--- Congress United for America's Stolen Children: Connecting and Creating Action. | | Mr. Meadows is a friend and advocate for parents and children who are victims of the crime of International Parental Child Abduction. He has attended every Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on our issue, including hearings on the passage of the... Read More →
avatar for U.S. Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

U.S. Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

U.S. House of Representatives
| Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is serving his seventh term in the United States House of Representatives for the citizens of Maryland’s 2nd District. He actively works with Stan Hunkovic to return his children, Gabriel and Anastasia from abduction to Trinidad. | | Congressman Ruppersberger is known as a common sense consensus builder who works with Members from both sides of the aisle to get results for Maryland and the... Read More →
avatar for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith

U.S. Congressman Chris Smith

U.S. House of Representatives
Congressman Smith is the recipient of the 2015 iStand Champion Award and a tireless advocate for IPCA reform, especially through the U.S. Dept. of State. | | Elected in 1980, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton, N.J.) is currently in his 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey. Smith, 62, currently serves as a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is... Read More →
avatar for U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

U.S. House of Representatives
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski works with her constituents, Marla Theocharides, whose children Katerina and Marcus are held in Cyprus.  | | Jackie Walorski is a lifelong Hoosier, born and raised in South Bend, who has dedicated her career to helping Hoosier families.  She is grateful to serve the people of Indiana’s Second District in the 114th Congress, where she serves on the House Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs and... Read More →



Wednesday April 20, 2016 4:00pm - 6:00pm
S-238 U.S. Capitol United States Capitol, Washington DC

9:30pm

From Our House to the White House: Annual Candlelight Vigil
This is our pre-conference "warmer". Please join your fellow parents for the annual White House Candlelight Vigil. We’ll light candles and speak the names our children and others who are abducted or wrongfully retained in foreign nations. It’s a moving tribute to our children and time for reflection on Join us as we Light Their Way Home.


Wednesday April 20, 2016 9:30pm - 10:30pm
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington DC 2006
 
Thursday, April 21
 

8:00am

Meet & Greet International Coffee Hour
Beautiful Leland Atrium is the setting for our International Coffee Hour and Continental Breakfast. It's a time to get acquainted with fellow parents and chat informally with invited guests from the Departments of State and Justice and the diplomatic community. 


Please plan to arrive just before 8 am to pass through security checkpoints. 


Thursday April 21, 2016 8:00am - 8:45am
U.S. Institute of Peace ~ Jacqueline and Marc Leland Atrium 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

9:00am

Welcome & Opening Remarks
The 2016 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk begins with introductions and welcome by iStand President Dr. Noelle Hunter.  

USIP Executive Vice President William B. Taylor will welcome participants and share remarks on the intersections of international parental child abduction, cross-border conflicts and the need for peacemaking as a central element of IPCA reform. 

Moderators
avatar for Dr. Noelle Hunter

Dr. Noelle Hunter

President & Co-Founder, iStand Parent Network Inc.
Dr. Noelle Hunter is president and co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. Her daughter, Muna, was abducted to Mali, West Africa in 2011. For nearly three years, Dr. Hunter stood with her Congressional delegation, the State Dept. the Mali government and a vibrant local and social media community to press for her daughter's return. Muna came home in July 2014 shortly after iStand Parent Network Inc. was established. | | Dr. Hunter has testified... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ambassador William B. Taylor

Ambassador William B. Taylor

Executive Vice President, United States Institute of Peace`
William B. Taylor is the executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Earlier, he was the special coordinator for Middle East Transitions in the U.S. State Department. He oversaw assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009. | | He also served as the U.S. government's representative to the Mideast Quartet, which facilitated the Israeli disengagement from... Read More →


Thursday April 21, 2016 9:00am - 9:15am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

9:15am

IPCA Prevention and Response: Coordinated and Comprehensive Law Enforcement Approach
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is a crtical agency tasked with assisting parents and children victims of International Parental Child Abduction.     

This session is designed to help parents and other stakeholders understand the complexities of returning children through a law enforcement approach.  We find that many of our parents do not know how to work with these entities at any level, let alone understand how coordination among agencies can occur.  

We also find that parents are frustrated  by the processes and variations in response.    In addition, our experiences demonstrate that law enforcement agencies also could benefit from more coordination on IPCA cases, and our panel of experts can speak to that, too.

Our panelists represent different dynamics of the law enforcement approach to IPCA prevention and response. This promises to be an informative session! You don't want to miss this one!


Speakers
avatar for SSA Eugene Casey

SSA Eugene Casey

Supervisory Special Agent (SSA), FBI Academy, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Eugene J. Casey is a native of New York City. Mr. Casey obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Casey was employed as a Compliance Officer by the Wall Street investment banking firms of First Boston Corporation and Salomon Brothers Inc. Mr. Casey also worked as a Market Manager for Pepsico... Read More →
avatar for SSA Brian Fagan

SSA Brian Fagan

Supervisory Special Agent (SSA), Violent Crimes Against Children Unit (VCACU), U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Brian Fagan is a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Unit (VCACU).  SSA Fagan began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999.  In late 2000, he transferred to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office in Florida to serve as a Deputy Sheriff and a School Resource Officer.  SSA Fagan joined the FBI in 2006 and was assigned to Flagstaff, Arizona... Read More →



Thursday April 21, 2016 9:15am - 10:30am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

10:30am

Break
Thursday April 21, 2016 10:30am - 10:45am
TBA

10:45am

IPCA and the International Rule of Law: Legal Remedies and Limitations
Parents often are confounded by the complex legal processes necessary to fight for their children in domestic and foreign courts.  This is not a fight parents can win without experienced, sound legal counsel and resources to press the case. 

Join our expert attorneys and friends for a dialogue on legal remedies and limitations and gain knowledge and suggestions for successfully navigating the legal processes for your children.  

Speakers
avatar for Preston Findlay

Preston Findlay

Counsel, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Preston Findlay is Counsel for the Missing Children Division of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). In this role he provides legal technical assistance and training to law enforcement, attorneys, family members, and the public regarding international and domestic child abductions – including children who have been abducted by a parent or family member. Mr. Findlay edited and co-authored... Read More →
avatar for Molshree A. Sharma

Molshree A. Sharma

Mandel, Lipton, Roseborough and Sharma, LTD.
Molshree A. Sharma combines her legal experience and empathy for clients in family law matters, often for clients with substantial marital assets including real estate, investment accounts and retirement benefits. Ms. Sharma has significant experience with custody and visitation issues; focusing on the best interest of the children, she successfully interacts with professional experts and is sensitive to her client's unique situations. While... Read More →
avatar for Joel Zuckerman

Joel Zuckerman

Attorney, Maxwell Barke & Zuckerman LLC
Mr. Zuckerman is the attorney for parent Stan Hunkovic, Gabriel and Anastasia's daddy. | He is working with his client to pursue law enforcement and legal remedies to return the children home.  | | Joel earned a B.S. in Counseling and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island in 1992, He earned J.D. cum laude from the University of Baltimore in 1995. He was admitted to practice in the Courts of Maryland, the District of Columbia... Read More →


Thursday April 21, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

12:00pm

Keynote Conversation and Awards Luncheon
The Policy Luncheon kicks off with our Annual iStand Awards to honor friend and heroes who are championing the cause of returning children home and to preventing and ending International Parental Child Abduction. 

After the awards, conference participants will have a Keynote Conversation with our invited speaker* about the way forward on public policy reform on IPCA.

*pending confirmation of speaker 

Thursday April 21, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
TBA

1:30pm

Navigating in International Waters: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction
Speakers
avatar for U.S. Dept. of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Office of Children's Issues

U.S. Dept. of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Office of Children's Issues

As part of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Office of Children’s Issues actively engages in two issues that cross international borders: intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction. In this work, we are fully committed to protecting the welfare and interests of children. We serve as the U.S. Central Authority for two multilateral treaties: | | The Hague Convention on the Protection of... Read More →


Thursday April 21, 2016 1:30pm - 2:30pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

2:30pm

Persistent Pressure: Educating Congress for your case and for our Cause
Bring Abducted Children Home (BAC Home) is the leading parent organization advocating for American children kidnapped to Japan. BAC Home Executive Director and Mochi's daddy Jeffery Morehouse offers a brief history of the issue as it's been addressed in Congress, shares updates on recent legislative developments and suggests essential tips for identifying and communicating with key players on Capitol Hill and in the State Dept.  Participants also can gain tips for advocating the issue at the local, state and federal levels. 

Speakers
avatar for Jeffery Morehouse

Jeffery Morehouse

Executive Director, Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME)
In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Jeffery Morehouse, volunteers much of his time as Executive Director of Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME.org). Over the past four years he has participated in over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill on international parental child abduction. He has worked as an advocate for S.Res 543 (112th Congress) and federal legislation such as and the Sean and David Goldman International Child... Read More →


Thursday April 21, 2016 2:30pm - 3:15pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

3:30pm

International Social Services -USA

The best non-governmental resource most of us haven't heard of! 

The conference closes with a presentation and Q&A with International Social Services - USA (ISS-USA). This organization has connections and resources in many of the countries where our children are held. It's fitting that the 2016 conference ends with suggestions, insight and resources from an global NGO:

ISS-USA mobilizes a domestic and international network of legal and social work professionals to efficiently connect vulnerable children, adults and families separated by international borders to the services and support they need.

In the spirit of international cooperation, we do the following:

  • Assist those who, as a result of voluntary or forced migration or other social problems of an international character, have to overcome personal or family difficulties.
  • Study from an international standpoint the conditions and consequences of migration in relation to individual and family life, and to make recommendations or undertake any other appropriate action.
  • Contribute to the prevention of social problems linked to migration or intercountry mobility. Inform professionals and the public of the needs of migrant individuals and families.
  • Develop and maintain an international network of bodies to meet the needs of individuals and families who require the services of ISS.

Moderators
avatar for Alissa Zagaris

Alissa Zagaris

Founding Member/ Parental Advocate, I STAND Parent Network
My son Leo was wrongfully retained in Greece by his father after summer visitation in 2011 against a mutually agreed upon divorce and custodial decree allowing international visitation, that was filed in Indiana (2009). My ex believed that my lack of knowledge and lack of financial means would give him the ability to successfully kidnap our American born permanent resident 10 year old son. Nikos Zagaris , the taking parent believed his... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Felicity Northcott

Dr. Felicity Northcott

ISS -USA
Dr. Felicity Sackville Northcott is the Director of External Partnerships and International Services. She joined ISS-USA in 2007 after 20 years at Johns Hopkins University. Felicity received her B.A. in Women’s Studies, Summa Cum Laude, from Goucher College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation, "Acting in a Manner not Usual for Law Abiding Citizens: Constructing Homeless in Baltimore," was... Read More →



Thursday April 21, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

8:00pm

iStand Hospitality House "Mixer"
After a long, emotional and productive Conference day, unwind at the iStand Hospitality House* with your hosts, Jeffery, Alissa and Noelle.  We've invited a special guest for conversation who has a long history of Congressional engagement, international relations and diplomacy in many of the very countries where conference participants children are held. 

We won't talk shop the whole time, though. There will be music, food and good conversation to end the day!   

*private location. Contact conference organizers. 

Moderators
avatar for Dr. Noelle Hunter

Dr. Noelle Hunter

President & Co-Founder, iStand Parent Network Inc.
Dr. Noelle Hunter is president and co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. Her daughter, Muna, was abducted to Mali, West Africa in 2011. For nearly three years, Dr. Hunter stood with her Congressional delegation, the State Dept. the Mali government and a vibrant local and social media community to press for her daughter's return. Muna came home in July 2014 shortly after iStand Parent Network Inc. was established. | | Dr. Hunter has testified... Read More →
avatar for Jeffery Morehouse

Jeffery Morehouse

Executive Director, Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME)
In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Jeffery Morehouse, volunteers much of his time as Executive Director of Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME.org). Over the past four years he has participated in over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill on international parental child abduction. He has worked as an advocate for S.Res 543 (112th Congress) and federal legislation such as and the Sean and David Goldman International Child... Read More →
avatar for Alissa Zagaris

Alissa Zagaris

Founding Member/ Parental Advocate, I STAND Parent Network
My son Leo was wrongfully retained in Greece by his father after summer visitation in 2011 against a mutually agreed upon divorce and custodial decree allowing international visitation, that was filed in Indiana (2009). My ex believed that my lack of knowledge and lack of financial means would give him the ability to successfully kidnap our American born permanent resident 10 year old son. Nikos Zagaris , the taking parent believed his... Read More →

Thursday April 21, 2016 8:00pm - 10:00pm
iStand Hospitality House private location
 
Friday, April 22
 

10:00am

Knocking on Doors of Nations: 2016 Embassy Walk
The Embassy Walk is our direct action engagement with representatives where our children are held. Embassy Walk participants should meet at the Gandhi statue outside the Indian Embassy to begin the walk. 

iStand is working with conference participants to schedule meetings with embassy personnel. We will walk* to nearby embassies and stand in solidarity while parents go inside to meet.

Participants should bring posters and images of their children. Posters are available to order through the I Stand web store.

*At least three embassies are not walking distance. Participants are encouraged to support fellow parents by sharing Uber rides to those embassies.

 

 


Friday April 22, 2016 10:00am - 1:00pm
Embassy Row Washington DC