The Advisory Group offers input, ideas and expert advice to the Leadership Council on key topics and issues as needed.
Child Protection and Welfare Systems Technical Director, 4Children, Catholic Relief Services; and Senior Associate, Maestral International
Kelley McCreery Bunkers is an international child protection and social welfare consultant with over twenty years of experience working and living in East Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Kelley has worked with a wide range of actors including international organizations, private foundations, government ministries, USAID, and UNICEF. Her most recent work has been in Moldova, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, and Rwanda focusing on strengthening child protection systems, identifying and promoting linkages between child protection and programing for children and families affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting child care reform, including expansion of family-based alternative care. She has an advanced degree in Children’s Rights and is a regular contributor to peer reviewed articles and books covering international child welfare. Kelley is an advisor for the Better Care Network and Global Health Promise. Ms. Bunkers currently resides in Nairobi, Kenya with her family.
President, Orphan Outreach
Michael has managed children’s services domestically and internationally for over 35 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has developed childcare programs including therapeutic foster care, assessment centers, residential treatment, and international programs including adoption, foster care, baby homes, residential care, and transitional living.
Executive Director, CoMission for Children at Risk
Karmen has led CoMission since 2001, networking, resourcing and equipping Christian leaders, organizations, churches and individuals in Russia and Ukraine to minister more effectively to orphans and children at risk. Since 2007, a major focus has been equipping Russian and Ukrainian Christians for adoption and foster care. As a result, Karmen has been involved in developing the Russia Without Orphans Alliance and supporting Ukraine Without Orphans, movements that are engaging the Church in their own countries for family-based care. He is also on the steering team of World Without Orphans, a movement of Christian organizations and leaders working globally to mobilize national movements like the ones in Russia and Ukraine. As part of his work, Karmen has coordinated numerous conferences and led the development of online directories of orphan care resources and events, in both English and Russian. Karmen currently lives in Pennsylvania with his family.
Church Partnership Director in the Northwest, World Relief
Mark Lamb serves as Church Partnership Director in the Northwest for World Relief, an organization devoted to equipping local churches to come alongside vulnerable people. In addition to his work at World Relief, he and his wife Erin have a daughter and are joyfully tired foster parents as well. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Arts degree in Cross Cultural Ministries from Dallas Theological Seminary.
Director of Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care, Olive Crest Foster and Adoption Agency
Wendy serves as Director of Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care for the Olive Crest Foster and Adoption Agency in Orange County, California. Prior to this, she was with Food for the Hungry as Director of Church Engagement, equipping American followers of Christ to advocate for the world’s most vulnerable people. Wendy hosts Poverty Unlocked, an audio program exploring the Christian response to poverty and injustice. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Systems & Environment, and a master’s degree in International Agricultural Development. Wendy lives with her family in Southern California, where they are active in the local orphan care community.
President, Christian Alliance for Orphans
Prior to his current role, Jedd served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President, leading the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In this post, he oversaw reform efforts across the government to make community- and faith-based groups central partners in all federal efforts to aid the needy. He has worked, studied, and served in more than thirty countries, with organizations ranging from Price-Waterhouse in Moscow to Christian Life Bangladesh. Jedd is also an accomplished author and a father of five.
Elli Oswald recently served as Director of Mission and Outreach at Bethany Community Church in Seattle, where she guided Bethany Community Church as they pursued God’s kingdom work daily, through various ministries to the poor and vulnerable in Seattle and around the world, including partnerships in Uganda, Rwanda and Costa Rica. Before being called to Bethany, Elli served as the Children in Crisis Research and Communications Coordinator for World Vision International’s Child Development and Rights Technical Team, specializing in community-based care for children deprived of parental care. She has a B.A. from Pepperdine University and a M.A. in Cross Cultural Studies and International Development from Fuller Theological Seminary. Elli has also worked with a wide variety non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area, including, Union Station Homeless Services and Habitat for Humanity. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Forrest, an Economist with the U.S. Treasury Department, and her two sons.
Senior Technical Advisor, Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF)
John helps organize the Better Care Network, the Children and Youth Economic Strengthening Network, and the Washington Network for Children and Armed Conflict. He has collaborated in writing many published articles, including Families, Not Orphanages (Better Care Network) and A Generation at Risk: The Global Impact of HIV/AIDS on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Oxford University Press). In the past, he worked as a consultant and been on the staff of the Christian Children’s Fund and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Faith to Action Initiative is comprised of Christian individuals and leaders passionate about children around the world. Our Leadership Council members speak at conferences, conduct workshops on the topic of family-based care, promote church partnerships, and provide resources and direction for churches, student groups, and Christian organizations.