iStand 2018 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk has ended

Join us for iStand 2018, as we Shine the Light to Bring Them Home!

Your $50 conference registration fee covers three days of advocacy, engagement and special events!


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Tuesday, May 22


NEW! Pre-Conference Webinar: Effective Communications for Your Case and for the Cause

 Before you come to Washington, set aside and hour to watch the Pre-Conference Webinar HERE.


It's not easy to convey our complex cases in a succinct and strategic manor.  Feedback from previous conferences indicates that parents would like to be better prepared and maximize the time they have with Congressional staff during Wednesday's Constituent Calls and also better understand how to communicate with the U.S. State Dept.

Join veteran parent advocates, staff from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. State Dept. for tips and strategies for maximizing IPCA Day on Capitol Hill for your kids and for the cause!

Tuesday May 22, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Wednesday, May 23


IPCA Day on Capitol Hill
All parents and guests should meet at the back of the Capitol at 8:30 AM EDT to prepare for pre-arranged Constituent Calls and meetings with key House and Senate staffers for personal cases and cause-related advocacy.  iStand Parent Network is coordinating with each attendee to schedule meetings in advance.


Wednesday May 23, 2018 8:00am - 3:00pm
U.S. Capitol East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004


From Our House to the White House: Annual Candlelight Vigil
This is our pre-conference "warmer". Please join your fellow parents for the annual White House Candlelight Vigil. We’ll light candles and speak the names our children and others who are abducted or wrongfully retained in foreign nations. It’s a moving tribute to our children and time for reflection on Join us as we Light Their Way Home.

Wednesday May 23, 2018 9:30pm - 10:30pm
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington DC 2006
Thursday, May 24


iSTAND 2018 International Coffee Hour
We'll kick off the Conference with our International Coffee Hour and Continental Breakfast. It's a time to get acquainted with fellow parents and chat informally with invited guests from the White House, the U.S. Dept. of State, Dept. of Justice and the diplomatic community.

All guests must provide a valid form of identification for entrance to the U.S. Institute of Peace. Please plan to arrive just before 8 am to pass through security checkpoints. 

Thursday May 24, 2018 8:00am - 8:45am
U.S. Institute of Peace ~ Jacqueline and Marc Leland Atrium 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


2018 International Parents Conference ~ U.S. Institute of Peace
The 2018 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk begins with introductions and welcome by iStand President Dr. Noelle Hunter and representatives from the U.S. Institute of Peace.  

Thursday May 24, 2018 8:45am - 5:00pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Welcome Remarks
avatar for Dr. Noelle Hunter

Dr. Noelle Hunter

President & Co-Founder, iStand Parent Network Inc.
Dr. Hunter is the president and co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. Her daughter, Muna, was abducted to Mali in 2011 and returned in 2014 through strong faith, cooperation between the U.S. and Mali and an organized network of family and friends who cried "No Rest!" until Muna... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 9:00am - 9:15am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Grassroots Advocacy and Human Trafficking: Adapting Strategies to Advance IPCA Reform
When Rep. Mimi Walters was a California State Senator, she authored and successfully passed Keisuke's Law to strengthen protection and prevention mechanisms to keep children safe from parental abdcution.
 Named after LBP father Randy Collins' son, Keisuke, the law was one of several significant, and ongoing actions Rep. Walters undertook at the state level, and now in Washington, to help bring America's Stolen Children home.

Ms. Walters recently pressed for the passage of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), which includes Congresswoman Walters’ amendment to help victims of sex trafficking seek justice against websites that knowingly facilitated their trafficking.  Since Congress passed this legislation, numerous websites have proactively removed websites and message boards, as well as suspend accounts, that could have potentially been used to promote online sex trafficking.

We are honored to hear from Ms. Walters about the passage FOSTA, the Walters Amendment and  learn strategies that our grassroots movement can adapt to advance the cause of IPCA prevention and reform.

avatar for U.S. Representative Mimi Walters

U.S. Representative Mimi Walters

U.S. House of Representative
Congresswoman Mimi Walters represents the 45th Congressional District of California and currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She previously served in the California State Senate from 2008-2014, where she represented California's 37th State Senate District... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 9:15am - 9:30am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Session I - Prevention is the Key: Stemming the Tide of Parentally-Kidnapped Children
 The Office of Children's Issues has recently expanded its Prevention Branch and its focus on  strengthening mechanisms for keeping children safe at home. Deputy Assistant Secretary King will share the role of the U.S. State Department in preventing international parental child abduction. Subject matter experts from the Office of Children's Issues will also join DAS King for a Q&A on prevention.

avatar for Deputy Assistant Secretary Karin King

Deputy Assistant Secretary Karin King

Overseas Citizen Services, U.S. Department of State
Ms. King joined the Foreign Service in 1991. She is currently serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services. Previously, she served as Managing Director for Visa Services (CA/VO) and Director of Public and Diplomatic Liaison. She has served overseas as Consul... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 9:30am - 10:30am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Thursday May 24, 2018 10:30am - 10:45am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Session II: Potential Energy! Transforming the Movement to Bring Children Home
A U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing. Arrests, prosecutions and convictions of abductors and abettors. IPCA Awareness Month. The past several months have seen a significant increase in attention to the barriers and opportunities to prevent and end international parental child abduction and bring kids home. It’s inspired a new hope and more action among parent advocates and supporters of internationally-abducted children.

This high-powered session engages every conference participant in self-reflection, a survey of the rich experiences, gifts and talents present in the room and opportunities to unleash collective kinetic energy to transform the IPCA reform landscape. Prepare for a fun and fast-paced, Movement-building session.

*This is a programming change. The previous session presenter is unavailable.

avatar for Jeffery Morehouse

Jeffery Morehouse

Executive Director, Bring Abducted Children Home (BAC Home)
In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Jeffery Morehouse, volunteers much of his time as Executive Director of Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME.org). Over the past four years he has participated in over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill on international parental child abduction... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 10:45am - 11:45am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


iStand Awards & Keynote Conversation with Judge Judith Kreeger
iStand Parent Network Inc. proudly welcomes Hon. Judith L. Kreeger for the 2018 Keynote Conversation.  Judge Kreeger serves as a Senior Circuit Judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit (Miami-Dade County, Florida) for 17-1/2 years, during most of which time she served in the Family Division.  She is one of four judges who represent the United States as a member of the International Hague Network of Judges.

Her Keynote Conversation invites conference participants into a candid dialogue on  the Hague Convention, challenges for resolving International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) cases through the courts, and the role of Network Judges in helping to facilitate direct judicial communications by serving as a link between her colleagues at the domestic level and other members of the Network at the international level.  

avatar for Hon. Judith Kreeger

Hon. Judith Kreeger

Senior Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County, Florida
Judge Judith L. Kreeger, who now serves as a Senior Circuit Judge, actively served as a Circuit Judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit (Miami-Dade County, Florida) for 17-1/2 years, during most of which time she served in the Family Division.  She is one of four judges who represent... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 12:00pm - 1:15pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Thursday May 24, 2018 1:15pm - 1:30pm


Session III Mediation: A Key to Opening Doors for Reunification
The practice of mediation is gaining greater acceptance as parents seek alternatives for resolving international parental child abduction. When Hague remedies, diplomacy or other strategies are  not appropriate or unsuccessful, mediation may be an option for reuniting children and parents. Join attorney and Hague Convention expert Melissa Kucinski for a dialogue on the elements and merits of mediation for reunification.

Handouts for this session are available for download.

Helpful Links:  

avatar for Joel Zuckerman

Joel Zuckerman

Maxwell, Barke & Zuckerman

avatar for Melissa Kucinski

Melissa Kucinski

MK Family Law
Melissa Kucinski is an attorney and mediator in D.C. and Maryland.  She served as a consultant to the Hague Conference on Private International Law in 2013, and has written a dozen articles published in more than one language on international children’s issues and mediation of... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 1:30pm - 2:30pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Session IV - The Web, Social Media and Big Data: Using Emergent Technologies to Locate and Return Children
"The internet has made the world a small place. " ~ Bob Pfeifer

Abducting parents can leave digital footprints through financial transactions, social media and other electronic communications. These 'digital bread crumbs' can reveal a taking parent's location and lead law enforcement to recover parentally-kidnapped children.

Fellow parent Bob Pfeifer found and reunited with his son, Jerry, working closely with law enforcement and utilizing social media to pinpoint the mother's location in France. Hear his suggestions for effectively using the array of communications technologies to find and return children.  

Bob is joined by SSA (Ret.) Eugene Casey, who led a distinguished career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and recently retired as an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.  Bob and Eugene work together to assist parents of abducted  children. 

avatar for Eugene Casey, SSA (Ret)

Eugene Casey, SSA (Ret)

Eugene J. Casey is a native of New York City. Mr. Casey obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Casey was employed as a Compliance... Read More →
avatar for Bob Pfeifer

Bob Pfeifer

Jerry's Army
In 2012, my son Jerry  was kidnapped by his Slovakian mother, who fled to Europe with Jerry and his half brother, Sasha Hummel, both American boys. We have a happy ending. Jerry and Sasha are now home safe. But I cannot forget those who are still looking for their loved ones. There... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 2:30pm - 3:30pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Thursday May 24, 2018 3:30pm - 3:45pm


Session V To the Ends of the Earth: Overcoming Every Obstacle to Bring My Sons Home
Dr. Kettani once described her experience as a mother of parentally-kidnapped children as "complete agony", but today Adam and Elias are home.

For nearly three years, Kettani's young sons were taken from country to country, severing communication with their mother and leaving their whereabouts unknown. Dr. Kettani relentlessly pursued her children,  in close cooperation with the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office, until they were located and returned to the United States. The children's father was recently convicted of  international parental kidnapping.  

Hind's story is a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of persistence.

avatar for Hind Kettani, MD

Hind Kettani, MD

Mom of returned sons

Thursday May 24, 2018 3:45pm - 4:45pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Marching Orders: Prep for ~ Knocking on Doors of Nations 2018 Embassy Walk
We'll end the day with reflections on the Conference, evaluations and final directions for Friday's Embassy Walk.

Thursday May 24, 2018 4:45pm - 5:00pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Rise Up! Music, Art and Action for Abducted Children
Back by popular the demand!

We had SO much fun last year! Unwind after Thursday's conference with live music, poetry and art at Busboys & Poets.  Join parents, friends and special guests for an enjoyable evening of entertainment and engagement as we build a movement!

Admission is covered for registered conference participants. 

Hors d'oeuvres.  Cash bar.  

Thursday May 24, 2018 8:30pm - 11:30pm
Busboys & Poets 1025 5th Street NW Washington, DC 20001
Friday, May 25


Knocking on Doors of Nations: 2018 Embassy Walk
The Embassy Walk is our direct action engagement with representatives where our children are held. iStand is working with conference participants to schedule meetings with embassy personnel. We will walk* to nearby embassies and stand in solidarity while parents go inside to meet.

Parents will get the Embassy Walk route and map at Thursday's International Parents Conference at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Participants should bring posters and images of their children. Posters are available to order through the iStand web store.

*Some embassies are not in walking distance. Participants are encouraged to support fellow parents by sharing Uber rides to those embassies.



Friday May 25, 2018 10:00am - 2:00pm
Embassy Row Washington DC