Our Team…

Thomas DiFilipo, President & Chief Executive Officer

Tom DiFilipo serves as President and CEO of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services.  As part of his work as a child advocate, Tom has elevated the cause of every child’s right to a permanent family through his travel to 28 countries, testimony before the U.S. Congress, service as a non-profit board member for the Council on Accreditation, Focus on Adoption, Discovery Ministries and Joint Council on International Children’s Services, and through presentations, speeches and guest lectures at over 40 child welfare convenings including the UNROW Human Rights Clinic at Washington University and the Russian Ministry of Education Conference on Child Protection.  Tom also advocates on behalf of children without family care through repeated appearances on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, ROTIV Russia and numerous other media outlets.

Tom is currently a member of the Council on Accreditation’s Sponsoring Advisory Council and the executive committees of the Families for Orphans Coalition and the Children in Adversity Policy Partnership.

Prior to his position at Joint Council, Tom spent nine years as Vice President for the CASI Foundation, Chief Operations Officer for International Children’s Alliance and held executive positions at a variety of private corporations.

Marie Blum-Capizzi, MA, Director of Programs and Services

Marie Blum-Capizzi is the Director of Programs & Services for Joint Council on International Children’s Services. Marie comes to Joint Council with years of administrative experience, two Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Dance and Sociology, a Master of Arts Degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and a passion for seeing every child grow up in a loving home. Marie is also interested in researching international conflicts and discovering peaceful and lasting solutions. Marie currently lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their rescue cats, Hootie and Boh Boh.

Jennifer Mellon Peterson, Chief Development Officer

Jennifer Mellon Peterson is the Chief Development Officer (CDO) at Joint Council on International Children’s Services.  Prior to serving as CDO, Jennifer functioned as Executive Director of Joint Council until the birth of her first of two girls in 2008.  During her hiatus, Jennifer founded two start-up companies and served on the Board of The Campagna Center, which provides much needed educational services to children and families in the DC Metro region.

Jennifer first moved to DC over a decade ago to work for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) as their Corporate Communications & Special Events Program Manager, eventually serving as their International Program Manager before joining Joint Council.  Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bucknell University in International Relations and Religion with concentrations in East Asia Studies and Mandarin.

Mikaela Coggins, Programs and Services Associate

Mikaela Coggins is the Programs and Services Associate for Joint Council on International Children’s Services. She recently graduated from Westmont College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. During college, Mikaela spent a semester in Washington, DC interning for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and learning about the legislative process. Her experiences growing up in Cambodia and working with foster children in Texas have fueled her passion for the welfare of children in adversity around the world.

Dean Loizou, CPA, Finance Director

Dean Loizou graduated in accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1982. For the last twenty-five years Dean has worked closely with large and small companies, including non-profit organizations.

Laura Bowers, Intern

 Laura is currently a sophomore at Georgetown University, where she is studying Government and Women’s and Gender Studies, with a minor in African Studies. She is the treasurer of Students Stopping the Trafficking of People and the Service Chair for the Georgetown Secular Student Alliance. Through her work with DC Reads, a tutoring program in Ward 7, she engages with and advocates for community members of the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood.

 Edgar Soria Lopez, Intern

Edgar comes to Joint Council from Xaltocan, Tlaxcala, Mexico where he is studying at the Universidad Teconologica de Tlaxcala (UTT). This semester, Edgar is a participant in the Washington Center’s Mexico 100 Program, which is a 15-week professional development program for youth focused on learning about and developing cross-sector partnerships to strengthen civil society and address social challenges. Specifically, he is interested in working to end domestic violence and helping young people succeed as productive members of society.

Carolina Alvarado, Intern

Carolina is a junior at Taylor University with an undergraduate background in Political Science and International Studies. She has participated in mission work in Russia and the Philippines which has enabled her to relate and to serve people from different cultures. She has also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity to assist the administration of a team in which they cooperated in building several houses.

Key Volunteers

Professionals from 23 Joint Council Partners play an important role in informing Joint Council’s policies, programs and services through their service on caucuses, committees and working groups.  In total, over 93 volunteers play vital and ongoing roles in our service to children and families. 

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