Advisory Board


Mark Lunsford, Chairman of Advisory Board 

Mark Lunsford is an activist for the passage of legislation to protect children from convicted child molesters. Lunsford has been instrumental in securing Jessica's Law, named for his daughter, Jessica Marie Lunsford, in states across the country.

Lunsford has worked with legislators and community groups to raise awareness of the issue of sexual predators and has been an active supporter of legislation with the ability to protect children from offenders through minimum sentencing and enhanced registration requirements.

He has also made it his goal to help locate absconder pedophiles.

Lunsford is currently working with various nonprofit organizations to secure passage of Jessica's Law in all 50 states including Stop Child Predators, California Organization of Police and Sheriffs, and the Jessica Marie Lunsford Foundation.

Roderick R. Paige, Ed.D., Vice Chairman

Former U.S. Secretary of Education

During his tenure at the U.S. Department of Education from 2001 to 2005, Secretary Roderick R. Paige was a fierce and innovative champion of education reform who led the way in setting new standards of achievement for all students in our education system. He spearheaded the implementation of the historic No Child Left Behind Act, with its goal of reinvigorating America's education system.

Dr. Paige has devoted his life to transforming the state of education by improving the way that children learn on all levels, a passion that has manifested itself most recently when he co-founded the bi-partisan Chartwell Education Group LLC. This group is a consulting firm devoted to offering solutions to the 21st Century challenges faced by the public and private sector enterprises that focus on pre-K, K-12 and post-secondary education, both in the United States and throughout the world.

Prior to his time at Chartwell, and after he left the administration in 2005, Dr. Paige served as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. There he was able to explore a more global perspective of education. As he said: "Civilizations rise and fall depending upon the quality of education."

His appointment by President George W. Bush as the seventh U.S. Secretary of Education, and the first school superintendent to serve in this position, was a signal honor for Dr. Paige, the son of a principal and a librarian in the public school system. Born in 1933 in segregated Monticello, Mississippi, Dr. Paige's accomplishments speak of his commitment to education. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Jackson State University in his home state. He then earned both a Master's and a Doctoral degree from Indiana University.

Dr. Paige began his career as a teacher and coach. He served for a decade as dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University (TSU), working to ensure future educators receive the training and expertise necessary to succeed in the classroom. He also established the University's Center for Excellence in Urban Education, a research facility that concentrates on issues related to instruction and management in urban school systems.

Elected to the Board of Education of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) in 1989, Dr. Paige was a trustee and an officer until 1994, when he became Superintendent of HISD, the nation's seventh largest school district. Inside Houston Magazine named him as one of "Houston's most powerful 25 people" for helping guide the city's growth and prosperity. He was also honored as an outstanding educator by the Council of the Great City Schools (2000) and the National Association of Black School Educators (2001). His innovative practices also led Dr. Paige to being named the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators in 2001.

Lauren Avey

Lauren Avey is Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships for the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.  In addition to her philanthropic work, Avey is a trained Crisis Intervention Advocate with the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) in Washington, DC. DCRCC is the oldest rape crisis center in the United States. In her role as a Crisis Intervention Advocate, Avey provides confidential assistance to sexual assault survivors and lobbies for criminal justice reform and better protections for survivors of sexual violence. 

Avey graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University with a B.A. in Government and International Relations

Derek Van Luchene, Ryan united

Derek VanLuchene brings a unique perspective to the issues of child protection. In 1987, when Derek was 17 years old, his 8 year old brother Ryan was abducted and murdered by a repeat sex offender. Ryan was taken right from the family’s backyard in a rural Montana community. Since that time, Derek has devoted himself to issues sex offender management as well as child abduction response.

Derek spent 18 years as a Montana Law Enforcement Officer working for both the Conrad Police Department and The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation. Currently, Derek serves as President and Founder Fox Valley Technical College: AMBER Alert National Training & Technical Assistance Program Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) offers programs and services to criminal justice and child protection professionals from across the country, l providing vital training and technical assistance. The NCJTC supports all FVTC programs by of Ryan United, a non-profit organization dedicated to his brother. Through Ryan United, Derek provides resources to crime victims, Law Enforcement, Corrections officials specific to sex offender management, child abduction and community safety.

Derek works as a consultant for Fox Valley Technical College and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In Addition, Derek serves as a Senior Fellow with the US Department of Justice’s, Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Managing, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART). VanLuchene has been instrumental in developing curriculum for Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, and Corrections officials relating to sex offender management and child abduction response. Derek has also been active in developing and delivering curriculum specific to sex offender management and the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse in Indian country.

Through his personal and professional experiences, VanLuchene speaks to criminal justice professionals and community organizations across the nation about how important their role is when it comes to protecting children. Derek and his family have been instrumental on a state and national basis promoting sensible management of sex offenders. Derek is regarded nationally as an expert on all issues surrounding sex offender management and child abduction.

Joanna Acocella

Joanna Acocella is Vice President of Federal Relations at Apollo Group, Inc., an S&P 500 corporation that provides higher education to working adults through its subsidiaries that include University of Phoenix, College for Financial Planning, Insight Schools, Inc., Institute for Professional Development and Western International University.

Apollo Group, Inc. was founded in 1973 in response to a gradual shift in higher education demographics from a student population dominated by youth to one in which approximately half the students are adults and over 80 percent of whom work full-time. Apollo Group has enjoyed continual growth in student enrollments as well as building a strong financial record by having more than doubled its total enrollments and revenues between 2001 and 2005.

Acocella is a former Principal at MarshallMorgan, LLC, a firm comprised of financial and legal experts who are highly experienced in all aspects of business and retail acquisitions and divestitures. She is also the former Executive Vice President of Government Relations for College Loan Corporation and former President of the CLC Charitable Foundation. Acocella also worked for the Education Finance Council, an industry trade association, where she directed Government Relations. Before joining EFC, Acocella spent nearly a decade at Sallie Mae, where she handled virtually every aspect of the student loan business, including operations, product development, sales, marketing and corporate communications, becoming an officer in 1999.

Acocella holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School and received her undergraduate degree from The University of Chicago.

Viet Dinh

Georgetown University Professor of Law and former Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy at U.S. Department of Justice

Viet D. Dinh is founder and principal of Bancroft Associates PLLC. He is Professor of Law and Co-Director of Asian Law & Policy Studies at the Georgetown University Law Center. He serves on the Board of Directors of News Corporation, where he is also Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee. Dinh previously served as U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2001 to 2003. In that capacity, Dinh conducted a comprehensive review and revision of Department of Justice priorities, policies and practices to ensure that all available resources are dedicated to protecting America against terrorist acts. He played a key role in developing the USA Patriot Act and revising the Attorney General's Guidelines, which govern federal law enforcement activities and national security investigations.

Dinh holds or has held positions on the boards of Liberty's Promise, the American Judicature Society, the Transition Committee for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Section on National Security Law of the Association of American Law Schools, and the ABA Section on Administrative Law. He previously served as Associate Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Whitewater Committee, Special Counsel to Senator Pete V. Domenici for the Impeachment Trial of the President, and counsel to the Special Master in the Austrian and German Bank Holocaust Litigation.

Dinh graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a Class Marshal, Olin Research Fellow in Law and Economics, and Bluebook editor of Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Timothy Hughes, Senior Inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service

Timothy Hughes is a nine-year veteran of the United States Marshals Service (USMS). He is currently a Senior Inspector responsible for security for the federal judiciary. Mr. Hughes became familiar with Stop Child Predators while serving as a fellow with the USMS congressional affairs office in his work to secure funding for the Adam Walsh Act to better enable Deputy U.S. Marshals to pursue fugitive child sex offenders. From his experience as one of the founding members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, Mr. Hughes has seen first-hand the effects of violent abuse against children, and has been the lead investigator in over 150 federal fugitive cases closed by arrest, with many of those cases involving sex offenders. Previously, Mr. Hughes served in the United States Navy. He received his M.A. degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University and completed a Georgetown University fellowship in government affairs. Mr. Hughes is a member of the International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Brian Jones, General Counsel at Strayer University

Brian Jones is General Counsel at Strayer University, a university known for educating working adults. Prior to joining Strayer, Jones was Senior Counsel at Dow Lohnes, PLLC, a Washington, DC law firm. He's the former General Counsel of College Loan Corporation (CLC) where he was responsible for legal activities and assuring compliance with federal and state laws regulating higher education financing and marketing.

Jones has an extensive background in law and higher education. He most recently served for four years as the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), in which capacity he was the fourth-ranking officer of the Department and principal adviser to the Secretary on all legal matters affecting department programs and activities.

Prior to his tenure at DOE, Jones was an attorney with the law firm of Curiale Dellaverson Hirschfeld Kelly and Kraemer, where he provided educational law counseling to many colleges and universities. He also served California Governor Pete Wilson as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary (Deputy General Counsel), as counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee from 1997 to 1998 and was the President of the Center for New Black Leadership from 1995 to 1997.

Jones holds a J.D. from UCLA and is a graduate of Georgetown University, from which he earned a B.S.B.A. in finance.

Joseph Kakaty, Chief Executive Officer of Edvisors

Joe Kakaty is the Chief Executive Officer of Edvisors, a leading education company focused on providing information, tools, and resources to help students, parents, and educators make the best possible academic decisions. He oversees all aspects of the company's operations, including marketing, sales, and product development. With two decades of experience in the education industry, Joe plans to further expand Edvisors' already unmatched collection of student resources.

Joe's leadership helped College Loan Corporation (CLC) become the nation's 7th largest student loan originator, servicing more than 900,000 customers, and the 10th largest holder of student loan assets. Prior to CLC, Joe was Director of Business Development for FastWeb, Inc. Since 1993, Joe has actively participated in the education industry, including serving on the ELM Board of Directors for six years.

Joe earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, finance, and marketing from State University of New York, College at Brockport and was recognized with the 2010 Alumni Award. He currently serves on the board of several non-profit organizations and resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife, Josey, and their three children.