Directors & Advisors
Whole Child International is guided by an all-volunteer Board of Directors along with an independent advisory body whose members provide expertise, connect the organization to resources, and ensure the highest level of diligence in the organization’s operation.
Board of Directors
James H. (Jim) Schloemer
Jim Schloemer has been active in real estate development and investment since 1977. In 1979, he co-founded Continental Properties and has been its senior officer since that time. During its 30-year history, Continental has built a diversified portfolio of outstanding retail, multifamily, and hospitality real estate across the United States. Under Schloemer’s leadership, Continental has become a major presence in the real estate development industry. Schloemer attended the University of Chicago where he received an MBA with a concentration in finance.
John P. Schuster
John Schuster is the founding partner of the Schuster Kane Alliance, Inc., a consulting firm he started more than 25 years ago. He is an author, coach, and consultant who has assisted the leaders of enterprises in business, government, and non-profit environments with a variety of services and tools. Prior to starting his business, John was the director of human resources for a region of the U.S. EPA. He was a chairman for the Executive Committee, a peer-learning group for CEOs, in both Kansas City and Cincinnati. He is a former board member of SIAS International University in Henan Province, China, and has taught extensively in a variety of subjects in executive MBA programs. He graduated summa cum laude at Xavier University where he received his BA and MA in English. His most recent book (2011) is The Power of Your Past: the Art of Recalling, Reclaiming and Recasting (Berrett Koehler). His previous books include The Power of Open-Book Management (Wiley & Sons) translated into four languages, and Hum-Drum to Hot-Diggity: On Leadership. Answering Your Call: A Guide to Living Your Deepest Purpose was also published by Berrett Koehler and translated into two other languages.
Charles Spencer is an author, broadcaster, and journalist, and is the ninth Earl Spencer. After gaining a degree in Modern History at Oxford University, he worked for NBC News as an on-air correspondent for a decade, primarily for the Today Show, but also for Sunday Today, NBC Nightly News, and NBC Super Channel, where he wrote and presented the documentary series Great Houses of the World (1994-1995). He was a reporter for Granada Television from 1991 to 1993, and has presented or contributed to documentaries for the History Channel, the BBC, PBS, and the Smithsonian Channel. As a print journalist, he has written book reviews for The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Financial Times and other British newspapers. He has written feature stories for newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom and the United States, including The Spectator and Vanity Fair. He is the author of five history books including two U.K. bestsellers: Blenheim, Battle for Europe (Phoenix, 2004), shortlisted for Historical Book of the Year at the National Book Awards; and Killers of the King, the second highest-selling history book in the United Kingdom in 2014. He helped establish Althorp Living History, a handmade fine furniture line faithfully reproducing pieces from the historic collection at Althorp. In 2003, he founded the Althorp Literary Festival, an annual celebration of books, authors, and reading held at Althorp, the 500-year-old Spencer family home, 75 miles north of London. While living for four years in South Africa he served as a Trustee of Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund and is currently patron of several British charities, including the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice, the Brain Tumour Charity, and Thomas’ Fund.
Karen Spencer founded Whole Child International in 2004 with the aim of improving the quality of care for vulnerable children worldwide. Targeting the largely overlooked emotional needs of society’s most at-risk children, Whole Child’s cost-effective, sustainable, and replicable program provides them with the tools they need to become productive members of society. As Founder and CEO of the organization, Karen leads an international team of trainers, researchers, and other staff to change systems of care, to advocate and influence policy, and to conduct related research. Whole Child programs are currently being brought to scale with funding from the Korean government through the Inter-American Development Bank and other donors. On February 20-21, 2010, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama came especially to lend his personal support to Whole Child at the launch of its global initiative to raise awareness of the plight of institutionalized children. During his two days supporting Whole Child, His Holiness participated in discussions with philanthropists, academics, government officials, and the public on how best to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children. Karen is co-author of articles published in the peer-reviewed Infant Journal of Mental Health and Perspectives in Infant Mental Health, contributing important insights and realistic solutions to the public debate. In September 2015, she was elected an Ashoka Fellow for her innovative work as a social entrepreneur by the Ashoka Foundation, which honored her for identifying and filling a gap in care for orphans and vulnerable children. In 2016 she was made a Fellow at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom.
Gary Newton has thirty-five years of experience working in international development, twenty-one years resident in six countries in Africa and Asia, beginning as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger (1974-75). He spent four years in Bangladesh (1983-1987) as Assistant Director of Engender Health’s Asia Regional Office before joining USAID as a Foreign Service Officer. With USAID, Newton served in Malawi (1988-1992) and Kenya (1992-1996), where he was in charge of USAID assistance to the health sector; Egypt (1996-2000), where he was an Associate Mission Director in charge of assistance for health, education, and democracy and governance; and Namibia (2004-2008), where he was the USAID Mission Director. He served two tours at USAID headquarters in Washington: the first, in the Bureau for Global Health, where he helped establish an office of HIV/AIDS (2000-2004); and, the second, as the first full-time U.S. Government Special Advisor for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2008-2011).
Following completion of his Foreign Service career in 2011, he was the Senior Advisor for Public Investment in Children at Save the Children (2013-2014), and is currently (October 2015) an Adjunct Professor (part-time) at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service where he’s teaching a course on vulnerable children. Newton serves on the board of Retrak, a UK-based non-profit organization assisting street children in Africa, and serves on the advisory board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Newton has a B.A. from Maine’s Colby College and master’s degrees in education from Smith College and in public health from Columbia University.
Edward W. (Ed) Scott, Jr.
Ed Scott is an experienced and successful business executive, former government official, and an active supporter of a number of philanthropic initiatives. In early 1995, Mr. Scott co-founded BEA Systems, which became the 12th largest software company in the world and was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2008. Before his career in the high-technology industry, Mr. Scott was an executive in the U.S. government for 17 years. He served as an Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Transportation during the Carter Administration.
Since withdrawing from direct management at BEA, Mr. Scott has initiated a variety of philanthropic initiatives. In 2001, Mr. Scott founded and provided funding for the Center for Global Development (CGD), the world’s leading research center on global poverty and development issues. Mr. Scott is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Friends of the Global Fight which, with the assistance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provides support in the U.S. for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. In his most recent philanthropic initiative, The Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA), Mr. Scott seeks to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the faith community in its collective effort to reduce global poverty and disease. CIFA achieves this through increased interfaith coordination, best practices, and model sharing; innovative mobilization of resources; and influential advocacy to governments and the general public.
Mr. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in political science from Michigan State University. He also has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford.