Ambassador Susan Jacobs to Address Inter-Country Adoptions and Abductions

Ambassador Susan Jacobs to Address Inter-Country Adoptions and Abductions

9/18/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences’ Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean will feature a program with Ambassador Susan Jacobs, special advisor for the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children's Issues.

In addition to meeting with various groups of University students to discuss international student travel, Department of State internship and employment opportunities as well as her experiences as a woman in the Department of State, Ambassador Jacobs will address international children’s issues at a public evening program on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Faculty Room of the Myers Convocation Center. This event is free and open to the public.

While encouraging extensive audience participation, Jacobs’ evening program will focus on topics including child abduction across borders, international adoption and the Hague Convention Treaties. 

As special advisor for International Children’s Issues, she actively engages with foreign government officials to protect the welfare and interests of children. She travels around the world leading meetings with foreign representatives to discuss ways to further promote The Hague Adoption and Abduction Conventions, and assist signatory countries to meet their responsibilities on inter-country adoption and international parental child abduction under the conventions.

In relation to the Symposium’s focus on Latin America, these countries are the most common destination of reported parental abductions, for example, the Sean Goldman case that threatened U.S.-Brazil relations.

As one of the first women at the U.S. Department of State to serve as a foreign ambassador, Jacobs 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 2000-2003, she was the United States ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. 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 Citizens Emergency Center, and special assistant to the Ambassador in San Salvador.

In 1990, she returned to Washington, D.C., 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 U.S. 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.

Ambassador Jacobs is married to Barry Jacobs, a retired Foreign Service officer, who is an international policy consultant. They have three children and five grandchildren.

For more information about the Symposium Against Indifference, visit cas-symposium.blogspot.com or contact Dr. Christopher Swanson, professor of mathematics, at cswanson@ashland.edu or 419.289.5264.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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