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Renette Oklewicz 

Renette is a highly respected professional who enabled significant progress in the fields of adoption, foster care and child welfare through her management of philanthropic investments at the Freddie Mac Foundation for 23 years. Serving as its first program officer, she was directly involved in the planning and strategic direction of the foundation and contributed significantly to its national leadership in corporate philanthropy. She was instrumental in developing the foundation’s focus on outcome-based grant making, and was a valued partner of dozens of nonprofit organizations whose missions are focused on permanency for children in foster care.

Renette’s career began as a foster care and adoption social worker. She led a groundbreaking effort to identify older children in care and then to recruit and train adoptive families for them. After entering the corporate foundation world, she focused her strategic leadership on improving adoption policy and practice, increasing access to post-adoption services, supporting foster and adoptive families, and recruiting resource families, among other initiatives.

Renette was responsible for the foundation’s foster care and adoption portfolio, which included, among numerous other efforts, the Wednesday’s Child national adoption program operating in five major cities; creation of the Heart Gallery; and co-founding and leading National Adoption Day (currently celebrating 14 years and more than 45,000 finalized adoptions). In addition, she created the foundation’s annual Adoption Expo, attracting thousands of people and providing free resources and information for adoptions from care. Renette, an experienced public speaker, also managed the production of the documentary The Beat Down Club, a compelling portrait of life after foster care which aired on PBS.

Renette’s has been widely honored for her achievements, including with a congressional Angel in Adoption award and recognition by the Child Welfare League of America, D.C. Action for Children, the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, to name a few. Additionally, she was selected by Freddie Mac to receive the annual Crystal Award in recognition for her outstanding contributions to the Foundation.

She has led numerous initiatives during the last few decades, including Freddie Mac’s Healthy Families America program, which she initiated throughout the D.C. metropolitan region and promoted its growth nationally. She also spearheaded and led the creation of Virginia’s first statewide, independent child advocacy organization, Voices for Virginia’s Children, which continues its life-changing work today.

Consulting Areas

Renette is available to consult and train in the areas of philanthropy, policy and advocacy, program and initiative development and implementation, outcomes-based grantmaking and building corporate partnerships.