Paths for Families Appoints Debra Cook as Director of Development

Paths for Families, formerly Adoptions Together and FamilyWorks Together, the leading adoption and family well-being organization in the DMV region, is proud to announce the appointment of Debra Cook as the new Director of Development. Cook succeeds Margo Devine, who has served with distinction and heartfelt dedication for the past 14 years.

As an adoptive parent through foster care herself, Cook brings personal passion and professional experience to the role. With 20 years of nonprofit management focused on fundraising, strategic planning, and fostering philanthropic relationships, her impressive track record includes significant roles at prominent institutions such as the National Association of Health Underwriters, the Smithsonian Institution, and the YMCA of Los Angeles. Cook’s expertise in securing grants, driving philanthropic initiatives, and building a culture of philanthropy is well-aligned with the mission of Paths for Families.

“We are honored to have Debra join our team,” said Paths for Families’ Founder and CEO Janice Goldwater. “I believe having a passion for this mission along with personal experience is a special combination; and paired with her professional background, we feel very lucky to have Debra to shepherd us into the next phase of growth and impact.”

Cook’s unique position as both a development officer and an adoptive parent brings invaluable perspective and passion to her role: “I am very excited about the future and the opportunity to work with my colleagues and the community that is Paths for Families. It was a deeply personal decision; I understand first-hand the critical need for the services we provide, and I look forward to representing the organization and advocating for healthy families in our community,” she said.

As part of the Senior Leadership Team, Cook’s responsibilities will include a broad range of initiatives focused on fostering a philanthropic culture that upholds the organizational values and advances impact on families, children, and the greater adoption and family well-being landscape.

As a lifelong resident of the Washington, DC area, Cook is eager to connect with professionals, organizations, and individuals who share the commitment to making a difference through philanthropy. “I am excited to build bridges for the organization and look forward to collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations who are passionate about a shared vision to support every child, every family, every step of the way.”

About Paths for Families

Paths for Families is an adoption and family well-being organization that partners with individuals and communities dedicated to the lifelong work of building and sustaining families. For more than 30 years, we’ve been here for expectant parents exploring adoption, birth parents, prospective and current adoptive families, children in need of adoption, people who were adopted, and professionals in the community. With the understanding that every path is unique, we enhance and support the wellbeing of children and families through placement services, counseling, and training. With a focus on nurturing positive and restorative experiences, we bring dedicated, technical expertise and trauma-informed, evidence-based practices to the communities we serve. On a systemic level, we share our training with professionals in child welfare and the broader community to build more trauma-responsive systems of care. We treat everyone with the understanding, kindness, and respect we believe all humans deserve. This is the compass that guides us in our work, putting human dignity and ethical practices at the forefront of everything we do for children, families, and their communities so they can genuinely feel they are not alone on this journey.