Ambassador Susan S. Jacobs, Retired Advisor
Ambassador Susan S. Jacobs (Retired) was the Special Advisor for Children's Issues at the Department of State from 2010 until her retirement in 2017. During her tenure, she traveled to more than 40 countries to discuss International Parental Child Abduction and Intercountry Adoption. In addition, she led U.S. delegations to international conferences and commissions concerned with issues effecting children. A career diplomat, Ambassador Jacobs joined the Foreign Service in 1974 soon after married women were allowed to serve as officers. Throughout her career, she held various overseas postings including Israel, India and El Salvador. Prior to her appointment as Special Advisor, Ambassador Jacobs served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs and as Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Ambassador Jacobs received her Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan and did graduate studies at Georgetown University Law School and George Washington University. She is married to Barry Jacobs, also a retired diplomat and has three children and four grandchildren.
Peter Leppanen Advisor
Peter Leppanen is an advocate for the right of every child to grow up in a permanent loving family. He has consulted, served as a board member and collaborated with a number of organizations who share his conviction. Pete served as a Strategic Advisor to Both Ends Believing from 2013-15 and helped to create the organization’s current strategy. He continues to serve as an advisor to BEB. Previously, Pete served as President and CEO of Wide Horizons For Children for six years overseeing child permanency programs in a dozen countries around the globe, including the United States. These programs included family preservation, family empowerment, orphan support, community development focused on healthcare and education, adoption counseling, domestic and international adoption and post-adoption support. Prior to becoming President, he served as a board member and volunteer consultant to Wide Horizons. In his previous career, Pete worked in consulting for 25 years. As a Senior Partner at CSC Consulting, he directed a consulting practice focused on strategy, business process re-engineering, and systems integration.
Pete holds a BS in Accounting and an MS in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University and earned a Certificate in Advanced Management Studies from Babson College. He is married and the proud father of two children adopted from Moldova.
Emron Pratt Advisor
Emron Pratt is a partner at Bain & Company, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms. Emron joined Bain in 2005. As a partner, Emron works with Bain’s clients primarily in the consumer products and media industries across a range of strategy and operational topics. While based in North America, Emron has worked extensively in Latin America and Europe as well as stints living and working for Bain in Africa and Asia.
Emron holds an MBA and MA degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is married and has three children.