Role: Program Area Lead, Adoption
Areas of Expertise: Adoption and diligent recruitment of foster and adoptive families
Years of Child Welfare Experience: 43
As the Program Area Manager for Adoption and Diligent Recruitment at the Center since January 2020, Kathleen Ledesma leverages her extensive child welfare expertise to provide research-informed assistance to states, tribes, territories, and federal agencies in the areas of adoption and diligent recruitment of foster and adoptive families. As National Project Director for AdoptUSKids and the principal spokesperson for the National Adoption Recruitment Campaign (2008–2018), Ms. Ledesma worked to raise awareness of the need for foster and adoptive specialists and support the needs of states, territories, and tribes to find foster and adoptive families for children and youth in foster care. From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Ledesma was the acting National Adoption Specialist at the Children’s Bureau, where she worked with child welfare agencies to facilitate their adoption and foster care programs. She has been a Child and Family Services Review and Grant reviewer for the Children’s Bureau.
Ms. Ledesma previously served as Oregon’s State Adoption Program Manager from 1997 to 2005 and sat on the boards of the Association of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA) and the National Association of State Adoption Program Managers (NASAP), including 3 years as NASAP president. She was recognized with a Department of Health and Human Services Adoption Excellence Award in 2015. From 1987 to 1990, Ms. Ledesma was the onsite director for an 80-bed children’s home in southern Mexico and is fully fluent in Spanish. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College (Michigan) and a master of social work from Portland State University (Oregon).
Explore Our Areas of Expertise
The Center's National Authority Teams are child welfare experts with a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing the child welfare field that comes from years of experience at the local, state, and federal levels.
Visit our page and discover experts by topic.