One of Barker’s most distinguishing assets is our well-trained and experienced professional and administrative staff. Our staff includes persons who, in addition to their professional credentials, are also themselves birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees, and passionate about serving the adoption community. Continuing in the tradition begun by Ruth and Richard Barker, our staff also provides consultation services and in-service training for teachers, physicians, nurses, social workers, and parent groups in the community.
Executive Director & CEO
Sue Hollar, LCSW-C, LICSW
Executive Director & CEO
BS, Lenoir-Rhyne University; MSW, Syracuse University
Ms. Hollar heads The Barker Adoption Foundation, one of the nation’s leading and oldest comprehensive adoption organizations. Her experience includes nearly three decades of social work practice, including 25 years of child welfare and adoption work locally, nationally, and internationally. She previously served in numerous roles at Barker, most recently as its Associate Director. Ms. Hollar’s experience includes direct-service and managerial positions in foster care, treatment foster care, and independent living programs. Prior to her work at Barker, she directed programs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau supporting the federally mandated child and family services reviews and title IV-E foster care eligibility reviews of state child welfare agencies. Ms. Hollar has also developed and conducted training for foster care and adoption staff throughout the country.
Susan H. Baker, CPA
Director of Finance and Administration
B.A., Bucknell University
Ms. Baker joined The Barker Adoption Foundation as Director of Finance and Administration in 2011. In this role, she is responsible for Financial and Accounting operations, Human Resources and Benefit Administration, Information Management, Risk Management, and Operations Administration. She brings to Barker over 30 years of expertise in financial management and a broad range of experience, both in similar roles for other nonprofits and in providing accounting and financial services to a variety of organizations as an independent consultant. Ms. Baker received her undergraduate degree in Sociology before she began her career as a Certified Public Accountant with Deloitte. She is pleased to bring together her passion for helping others with her nonprofit management expertise.
Anne Clark Christman
Director of Development
B.A., Hamilton College; J.D., Boston College Law School
Anne joined The Barker Adoption Foundation in 2017 as Director of Development. In this role, she is responsible for creating and implementing development strategies for Barker and its individual programs as well as cultivating and developing new and existing individual, corporate, and foundation funding sources. Anne brings to Barker years of experience in nonprofit fundraising. She received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Psychology before receiving a J.D. degree and practicing law for over 10 years. Anne is also an adoptive parent. She is pleased to bring together her passion for the work Barker does and her development expertise to help grow support for the Barker mission.
Beverly N. Clarke, LCSW-C, LICSW
Senior Director of Clinical & Support Services
BSW, Andrews University; MSW, Andrews University
Ms. Clarke is the Senior Director of Clinical & Support Services and responsible for managing, developing, implementing, and providing oversight and quality assurance for the clinical aspects of the work provided by the agency’s adoption and support programs. Ms. Clarke has more than 20 years of experience as a social worker and clinician, with many of those years focusing on children and families. Previously, Ms. Clarke was the Director of Barker’s Project Wait No Longer. Prior to Barker, Ms. Clarke worked in the foster care system, family preservation programs, and domestic and international adoption programs. As an adoptive parent herself, she brings both a personal and professional understanding of the adoption process as well as a passion for supporting families and achieving permanency for children.
Tina Ji, LLM
Director of International Programs
LLB, Peking University, China; LLM, University of Virginia School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Ms. Ji currently oversees all of Barker’s international programs. She has worked in the adoption field since 1992, first with Children’s Hope International in St. Louis and for the next ten years with Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA). Ms. Ji has extensive experience supervising adoption programs in Asia, Latin America, and East Europe. She also developed humanitarian programs in China. In 2001 she started a foster care program in China that currently trains foster parents to care for over 100 children in non-institutional settings. She has also led efforts to help many orphanages improve conditions for children, including provision of medical care. She is active with Joint Council on International Children’s Services and has also been substantially involved in the Hague Treaty and compliance issues for U.S. agencies.
Varda Makovsky, LCSW-C
Director of Family and Post-Adoption Services
BS, New York University; MBA, New York University; MSW, University of Maryland
Ms. Makovsky heads the Family and Post-Adoption Services Department at The Barker Adoption Foundation. In this capacity, she provides ongoing consultation and support to adoptive and birth families and coordinates support groups and skill-building educational programs for all members of the adoptive triad in both domestic and international programs. Ms. Makovsky acts as The Barker Foundation’s confidential intermediary, serving as a link between adoptive and birth families and assisting adult adopted persons who seek non-identifying information about their birth families, or undertake court-ordered searches.
Ms. Makovsky’s prior social work experience includes working with adoptive families in the home study and post-placement process, counseling women facing domestic abuse, and providing therapy services to clients at a mental health center.
Saara McEachnie, LICSW, LCSW-C
Director of Domestic Adoptions
BSW, Oakwood University; MSW, Western Michigan University
Ms. McEachnie is the Director of Domestic Adoptions, the newly integrated program of Project Wait No Longer (PWNL) and Infant Adoptions. This merger will lead to new and exciting opportunities for the dedicated families of Barker. Ms. McEachnie comes to The Barker Adoption Foundation with over eleven years of experience working with children and families. She spent the first years of her career working with children who were diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and assisting families of soldiers who had served overseas in the military. The majority of Ms. McEachnie's experience has been with the public child welfare system, helping children to achieve permanency either through reunification with their birth parents or through adoption/guardianship with a loving and able caregiver. Ms. McEachnie worked on supervisory teams to implement evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment models to best serve the vulnerable population of children within the foster care system in the District of Columbia. Her passion is mostly found in ensuring happy, healthy, and loving families for children.
BA, McDaniel College
Ms. Beers joined The Barker Adoption Foundation in 2013 and now serves as the Executive Assistant. She comes to us after three years with Barker’s older child adoption program Project Wait No Longer as the Program Assistant. Before her time at Barker, she worked in Carroll County with the CASA program and with domestic violence survivors, and on the eastern shore as Operations Manager of a marketing firm. She is passionate about the important mission of The Barker Adoption Foundation and is very excited to support the executive team and board at Barker to further this mission.
Montgomery College – Technical Writing
Ms. Porter joined Barker in 2008 and handles all incoming calls and requests for information. She comes to Barker after many years in the telecommunications industry. Ms. Porter manages Barker’s calendar and coordinates and schedules workshops, training, and other events, including Barker’s annual conference. She enjoys being the first point of contact and speaking with all families and individuals who call for information, assistance, and support.
Digital Marketing & Outreach Manager
Ms. Thomas joined The Barker Adoption Foundation to engage the digital community in Barker's mission and advocacy for adoption services. Ms. Thomas comes to Barker with years of experience at an international humanitarian development organization, where she provided technical and digital support in marketing and development. She is passionate about using digital strategy, graphic design, and data analysis to tell Barker's story and make a lasting impact in the lives of those who need it most.
Eileen Wharton, MSW
Child Matching & Family Support Specialist, Project Wait No Longer
BSW, Radford University; MSW, University of Denver
Ms. Wharton serves as the Child Matching & Family Support Specialist for Project Wait No Longer. She is responsible for managing matching and placement services, which includes connecting waiting families with children who are awaiting adoption in the public foster care system. Ms. Wharton, who previously worked in international adoption, has also been a home-based child therapist and has worked with families, at-risk youth, and individuals with disabilities.
International Case Manager & Family Support Specialist
BSW, Christopher Newport University
Ms. York obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and serves as Barker’s International Case Manager & Family Support Specialist. She previously worked for a non-profit, therapeutic foster care and adoption agency in Newport News, Virginia. While working in the Tidewater region, she gained experience in the foster care and adoption system and uses that knowledge and experience to ensure that all individuals have a positive experience with the adoption process. She is extremely passionate about this field of work and continues to love supporting non-profit organizations. She is excited to help find forever families for the children she serves through Barker.
Emily San Antonio
International Program Support Specialist
B.A. University of Virginia
Ms. San Antonio is excited to draw on her unique set of professional skills, as she helps home study approved families navigate the international adoption process through finalization. Having studied, in Cyprus and Morocco, and lived abroad, she comes to Barker with a strong personal and professional interest in international affairs. Additionally, she brings experience in both high-level administrative support and customer relations to her position. She is excited to work at a non-profit, aiding in the important work of finding waiting international children homes.
Adoption Home Study & Family Support Specialist
B.A. George Mason University
Ms. Horlbogen brings her dedication to children and families as she steps into the role of Adoption Home Study and Family Support specialist, guiding all Barker families through the home study paperwork process and working closely with intake staff. During her time studying at George Mason University she interned with the National Safe Haven Alliance, CameroonONE, and the American Heart Association. Her prior non-profit experience has allowed Ms. Horlbogen to support missions she believes in and she looks forward to now supporting the mission of Barker.
Domestic Program Support Specialist
B.A., The University of the South
The domestic program is pleased to welcome Ms. Downes to the team, as a support specialist for families in both the infant and Project Wait No Longer program. She works closely with families and outside agencies from home study to finalization. She joins the team after completing a challenging post-graduate year with the AmeriCorps program, where she worked in the DC public school system. She has a passion for women and children’s issues and is looking forward to putting her skills to work on behalf of the children and families we serve across the domestic programs.
Emily Marshall, LICSW, LCSW-C
Clinical Intake and Family Support Specialist
BA, Kenyon College, MSW, Catholic University
Ms. Marshall joins the clinical team at Barker in her role as the Clinical Intake and Family Support Specialist. Previously, Ms. Marshall has worked as a School Social Worker, providing ongoing clinical counseling and case management, as Child and Family Therapist with YMCA’s Linkages to Learning Program, and as a Social Worker for children in the foster care system in New York. In addition to her clinical experience Ms. Marshall brings her Spanish speaking skills to the clinical team. She is very excited to translate her wealth of knowledge and experience working directly with children into working on behalf of children who are in need of forever homes.
Community Outreach & Recruitment Specialist
BSW, BA, James Madison University
Barker is pleased to welcome Ms. Dunlap to the team as Barker’s Community Outreach & Recruitment Specialist. She comes to Barker with her certification as a Registered Behavioral Therapist, having worked as a Behavioral Therapist for children, teens and young adults with a variety of special needs. She is excited to translate these skills, as well as her previous volunteering and internship experience with organizations like- The Office of Children and Youth, Generations Crossing, and Boys and Girls Club, to this position. Ms. Dunlap will be working within the greater DC metropolitan community to recruit families who could be the right match to give permanency to waiting children, as well as building partnerships to support this important mission.
Zalika Pierce, LMSW
Pregnancy and Family Support Counselor
BA, Trinity Washington University MSW, The Catholic University of America
Ms. Pierce works with women and their partners who are experiencing crisis pregnancy and considering adoption. She supports clients during this challenging time by providing education about adoption and parenting, accessing needed services before, during, and after delivery, and helping clients to select adoptive families while working with them to complete an adoption plan. Ms. Pierce also works to educate other professionals in the field and the broader community about ethical adoption and best practice when serving birth parents and is responsible for providing clinical services for post-adoption clients.
Ms. Pierce comes to Barker with direct service and case management experience having worked with seniors at Potomac Home Support and individuals suffering from substance abuse at Kirwan House. In these experiences, she demonstrated a high level of passion for her work and she is excited to transfer her skills and energy to her client work here at Barker.