Press Release


Media Advisory: For Immediate Release


NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2010 – The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute today proudly announces the formation of its new Honorary Board, which is composed of distinguished professionals in the fields of adoption, business and entertainment who have committed themselves to increase the Institute’s impact, resources and support.

The Honorary Board’s formation comes at a time of unprecedented effectiveness by and recognition of the Adoption Institute for its unique, important work – such as its groundbreaking recent study on shaping positive identity in adoption – as well as for its growing partnerships with major national organizations – including the Child Welfare League of America, LifeCare, Adoption Learning Partners, Adoption Quarterly and Spence Chapin.

“It’s a very exciting time for the Adoption Institute in so many ways, and I think it says a lot about our work that so many prominent, influential people want to support it,” said Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman. “We’re very grateful to the members of our Honorary Board for helping us to achieve our unique, important mission.”

The founding members of the Honorary Board (in alphabetical order) are:

Dr. Jane Aronson – Former Institute Board member, pediatrician and leading expert on the health needs of internationally adopted children; she is also the founder of Worldwide Orphans Foundation, and was recently named a Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year for 2009.

Kristin Chenoweth – Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor and singer, an adopted person and a supporter of the Institute’s work and mission. In addition to her talent and celebrity, she uses her enthusiasm and personal appeal to help project a positive image of adoption.

Jane and Bill Donaldson – Leaders in the fields of finance, philanthropy and education, as well as adoptive parents, they have been steadfast supporters of the Institute since its founding, including by providing major underwriting for our Taste of Spring benefits.

Kim Donaldson – Former Institute Board member and daughter of the late Evan B. Donaldson, in whose honor the Institute was named; she also is Founder and Director of Business Development of Bottlenotes, a wine club and retailer.

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness – Both actors are Institute supporters (they served as Honorary Co-Chairs at our 2009 “Taste of Spring” benefit and will do so again in 2010); they also are adoptive parents and advocates for orphans worldwide who need homes.

Chris James-Brown – President and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation’s oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization; her career has been built on helping nonprofit organizations expand their ability to serve children and families.

Peter Levine – CAA agent, adoptive father of two, former Institute Board member – and founding/current member of our LA Council, as well as Honoree at this year’s LA Benefit; has helped the Institute establish itself on the West Coast and to reach a broader audience.

Sue Naegle – President of HBO Entertainment; she and her husband, comedian and writer Dana Gould, have two daughters adopted from China. They have been great supporters of the Institute, including its work in schools, and have hosted two of the Institute’s L.A. benefits.

Sharon Roszia – Foster/Adoption Program Manager with the Kinship Center in California and a longtime supporter of the Institute; she is one of the most respected and prominent educators, trainers and authors in the field, and the recipient of many honors for her work.

The Honorary Board is separate from the Institute’s Board of Directors and includes none of its governing responsibilities; rather, those on this new body will provide a variety of support, such as offering their expertise on specific projects, serving as spokespersons, participating on committees and other working groups, and assisting in key fundraising efforts.

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. The Institute’s mission is to provide leadership to improve laws, policies and practices – through sound research, education and advocacy – to enhance the lives of the millions of children and families touched by adoption.

For more information, please visit our award-winning website,, or contact our Chief Executive  at 212-925-4089 or