About Us
Our Model
Annual Reports


Kate McLean, Executive Director

As Executive Director of Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), Kate leads the organization in increasing CCAI’s visibility and impact among members of the adoption, foster care, and greater child welfare community; strengthening and diversifying the organization's funding sources; and maintaining the strong relationship that exists between CCAI and Members of Congress. Now in her seventh year, Kate is committed to continue supporting the caucus and CCAI community to identify and remove barriers for vulnerable children and families.

In her previous role as CCAI's Director of Programs, Kate managed the organization's outreach, development, and programming in the implementation of CCAI's core programs and annual projects including the Foster Youth Internship Program®, Angels in Adoption®, and National Adoption Day. Kate was first a CCAI Programs Intern and then Policy & Programs Associate before becoming Director of Programs and most recently Managing Director. 

Originally from New York, Kate has been a District of Columbia resident for ten years. Kate enjoys volunteering with CASA for Children of DC and has been a Court Appointed Special Advocate since 2019. Kate holds a bachelor's degree in international affairs with a concentration in conflict resolution from The George Washington University. In 2023, Kate received an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with an emphasis on strategic fundraising and financial stewardship. 


Toria Parsons, Policy Director

Toria Parsons is the Policy Director of Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. In this role, she implements CCAI’s government relations and congressional educational strategy to facilitate and expand CCAI’s impact among federal policymakers and the child welfare communities. She is responsible for researching, coordinating, and executing elements of the Congressional Resource Program and 20/20 Vision Program delegation activities. She supports and engages in congressional outreach to advocate for each child’s basic right to a permanent family.

As a trained social worker, Toria spent five years working with families adopting children from the countries of India, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Poland. From pre-adoption to post-placement and post-adoption, Toria worked with over 150 families during her tenure at the international adoption agency. She has a wide range of experience advocating for vulnerable populations such as refugees, children with special needs, and children in the child welfare system. She spent the year of 2022 advocating for clients and constituents on Capitol Hill.

Originally from Louisiana, Toria received both a Bachelor and Master of Social Work from The University of Alabama. She also holds a Master in Teaching English as a Second Language from Columbia International University. Toria is passionate about the work that CCAI does throughout all of its programs.


Sara Schleicher, Programs Coordinator

As Programs Coordinator, Sara leads the planning and implementation efforts for CCAI’s flagship programs and events including the Angels in Adoption® Program and Foster Youth Internship Program® as well as National Adoption Day initiatives. She is responsible for the operational success of these programs and ensures that the events in each program engage the U.S. Congress, corporations and foundations, and the child welfare community in domestic and international adoption and foster care. Sara previously worked with CCAI as their Programs Assistant, aiding in the 2018 Angels in Adoption® Program efforts. 

Sara brings a wealth of international experience to the team, including a grant to Malaysia from The Fulbright U.S. Student Program under the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and additional overseas student programming. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and child and family policy from Syracuse University. 


Lisette DuFore Benz, Associate

As Associate, Lisette works closely across all departments within CCAI, from development to programming to policy. She assists with the development and implementation of CCAI's core programs, and plays a crucial role in the organization's development initiatives, including donor and partner management, scheduling, and strategy. Lisette previously worked with CCAI as their Development and Communications intern for two consecutive semesters.

With a background in project management, as well as experience preparing and executing large-scale projects and events, Lisette is able to bring her skills and experience in the private sector to the nonprofit world. Lisette graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in technical theatre from Binghamton University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from American University in Washington, D.C.