Founder and President
Linda Smith is a leader in the global movement to end sex trafficking. In 1998, while serving in the U.S. Congress, Linda traveled to a notorious brothel district in India where the hopeless faces of women and children forced into prostitution compelled Linda to found Shared Hope International. Linda is the primary author of From Congress to the Brothel and Renting Lacy and co-author of The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and the DEMAND. Report. Linda has testified before Congress, presented at national and international forums, and has been published in news outlets and journals. Linda served as a Washington State legislator (1983-93), before she was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1994. Read More
Senior Director, Emeritus Board
Nancy is a Senior Director and member of Shared Hope’s Emeritus Board. Nancy has long been active in the movement against sex trafficking and has worked alongside Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope International, since 2002. Nancy’s diverse responsibilities include speaking, writing, training, donor interactions, restorative shelter initiatives, and partner relationships. Since 2008, she has served on the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force where she currently chairs the Legislative Committee is an active member the Victim Services committee. Nancy is pursuing her Masters in Social Work. Read More
Samantha joined Shared Hope International in 2005 to direct research for the DEMAND report and documentary for the U.S. Department of State. Samantha co-authored The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking based on research for the U.S. Department of Justice. Samantha designed and directs the Protected Innocence Challenge, which establishes a framework of laws necessary to combat sex trafficking in each state. Previously, Samantha served as the director of the American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative’s Moldova office implementing anti-trafficking legislation development and legal services for victims of trafficking. She is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Miami School of Law. Read More
Director of Communications
Taryn Mastrean joined Shared Hope International in 2009. She has completed field research and authored reports on the sex trafficking of U.S. citizen minors in Arizona and Virginia. She designed the Protected Innocence Challenge toolkits, providing resources and strategy for improvements in state’s legal framework addressing trafficking. Her ongoing concentration in leveraging social and digital media to generate awareness has resulted in extensive coverage and awareness of the dynamics of child sex trafficking in the U.S. Taryn graduated summa cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a dual degree in public relations and advertising and a certificate in economics. Read More
National Training Director
Elizabeth Scaife is the Director of Training at Shared Hope International, a nonprofit organization building restorative responses and services to women and children victimized by sex trafficking. Elizabeth earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi before spending two years as a campus minister followed by eight years assisting and coordinating projects for humanitarian aide and disaster relief in thirteen countries worldwide. After joining the Shared Hope team in 2009, Elizabeth directed a national awareness campaign, Kids are Not For Sale, and managed all international and domestic partner programs. Read More
Director of Programs
Eliza Reock has an extensive background in non-profit and private foundation leadership. Prior to joining Shared Hope she managed the distribution and strategic implementation of funding for human trafficking research, coalition and taskforce development. Eliza has served in advisory and committee roles at the state and national level contributing to the development of service protocols and strategies for victims. As Director of Programs, Eliza manages Shared Hope’s funding and development of restoration programs, monitors and evaluates current services partners, speaks and trains on the issue and works to identify and share leading field techniques to develop service and shelter provision systems across the nation. Read More
Director of Finance
As Director of Finance, Sheila is a senior staff member in Shared Hope International’s Vancouver, Washington office. Sheila joined Shared Hope in 2007 to lead the Finance Department. She provides fiscal guidance and direction to Shared Hope and oversees all financial activities. Prior to joining Shared Hope, Sheila’s past career involved various areas of corporate accounting and business administration. Sheila has volunteered in several capacities with other non-profit organizations working with homeless shelters and crisis pregnancy centers.
Linda Smith is a leader in the global movement to end sex trafficking of women and children around the world and in the United States. In 1998, while still a member of the U.S. Congress, Linda traveled to Falkland Road in Mumbai, India—one of the worst brothel districts in the world. The hopeless faces of desperate women and children forced into prostitution compelled Linda to found Shared Hope International (SHI). SHI was established to support shelter and service creation for sex trafficking survivors using a comprehensive model for restoration. By partnering with local organizations, SHI provides restorative care, shelter, and education and job skills training through the Women’s Investment Network (WIN) at Homes and Villages of Hope where women and children can live without time limit. Today, Shared Hope provides leadership in education and training, prevention strategies, research, and policy initiatives.
Linda founded the War Against Trafficking Alliance (WATA) in 2001, coordinating regional and international efforts necessary to combat sex trafficking. In 2003, WATA co-sponsored the World Summit with the U.S. Department of State, uniting leaders from 114 nations that demonstrated sustained commitment to protect the vulnerable from the sex trade. Six international summits followed, leading governments in under-achieving nations to pass human trafficking laws and plan for enforcement. In 2006, SHI spearheaded the U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)—bringing together leaders from across the United States to assess progress made in combating the sexual slavery of children in America. The U.S. Mid-Term Review on CSEC in America was the basis for a United States – Canada Regional Consultation in preparation for the 2008 World Congress III Against CSEC, where the report was presented by Shared Hope as part of the U.S. delegation.
Under a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Linda and her team conducted field research in Jamaica, the Netherlands, Japan, and the U.S. to investigate the business model fueling the sex industry. These findings were compiled in the 2007 publication of the DEMAND. report and the production of the DEMAND. documentary.
Since 2006, Linda and SHI have worked in partnership with human trafficking task forces in cities across the U.S. to provide research, training, and technical assistance. With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, SHI conducted four years of research on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST)—the exploitation of American children through prostitution, pornography or sexual performance. In 2009, Linda presented the findings in The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children to Congress. By examining the governmental and nongovernmental efforts and gaps in addressing child sex trafficking in the U.S., this research pioneered today’s movement against child sex slavery in America. Both DEMAND. and the National Report have been entered into the Congressional Record. Using this research as a platform, Linda is an advocate for a strengthened response at the federal level, and has been instrumental in helping states design legislative frameworks to protect the innocence of America’s children.
In 2011, Linda commissioned a landmark initiative to assess every state’s laws as they relate to or impact domestic minor sex trafficking. This project, the Protected Innocence Initiative, is a strategy to comprehensively combat child sex trafficking by identifying gaps in state laws and providing a blueprint for legislative action. Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna spoke in support of this initiative, stating that the attention it draws to the issue is necessary to create effective change. Additionally, Linda designed an integrated training and awareness model, Do You Know Lacy?, aimed at educating a variety of audiences using a multi-dimensional approach.
As a foremost expert on international and domestic trafficking, Linda has spoken out against the trafficking of women and children in numerous Congressional hearings and in national and international forums, such as the World Conference on Trafficking and the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission on the Protection of Children. Linda has participated in more than 300 media interviews, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, Dan Rather Reports, ABC News, the Dr. Phil show, O’Reilly Factor, and CBN. Linda received the 2009 Soroptimist Making a Difference for Women Award and the 2010 Soroptimist Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women. Linda has been published in news outlets and journals around the world; including The New York Times, the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, the International Review of Penal Law, and the Regent University Law Review.
Linda’s political career began in 1983 as a Washington State legislator. From 1983 to 1993, Linda served as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives (1983-86) and State Senate (1987-93). During her time as Senator, Linda chaired the State Senate Children and Family Services Committee, overseeing programs related to issues of children and families with a focus on protection, restoration, adoption, child welfare, drug rehabilitation, and homeless children. While in office, Linda drafted a package of foster care bills that provided greater permanency for foster youth by limiting the number of times they could be moved. In 1994, she was elected to the U.S. Congress following a remarkable grassroots write-in campaign where she defeated the only Republican candidate listed on the primary ballot. While in Congress she became known for her stand against taking special interest money and served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a position that provided her initial exposure to the horror of sex slavery. Her compassionate and uncompromising belief that every individual has dignity has carried her from advocating for permanent safe homes for children as the State Senate chair of the Children and Family Services Committee, to the halls of Congress, and ultimately to searching out victims in red light districts around the world. Linda and her husband, Vern, reside in Vancouver, Washington and are the proud parents of two and grandparents of six.
Role with Shared Hope International
Concurrent with her career in healthcare information systems with Cerner Corporation, Nancy was an activist in the issue of sex trafficking. She worked alongside Shared Hope founder Linda Smith beginning in 1999 and served on the Shared Hope International Board of Directors for six years. In 2008 she left healthcare IT to begin a second career with Shared Hope International. Nancy is a Senior Director whose diverse responsibilities include speaking, writing, training, donor interactions, restorative shelter initiatives, and partner relationships.
Other Related Experience
Nancy has long been active in the movement against sex trafficking and assisted Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope International, in organizing the War Against Trafficking Alliance in 2002. She participated in the Path Breaking Strategies Conference in Washington, DC in 2003 and in the Next Steps Conference in Mumbai in 2004, as well as the Justice Department Domestic Trafficking and Prostitution conference in Tampa in 2004 and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Mid Term Review in DC in 2006. She represented Shared Hope at the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives in 2007 and 2008.
Since 2008, she has served on the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force where she currently chairs the Legislative Committee is an active member the Victim Services committee. In the capacity of a task force member and a Shared Hope employee, she provides expert testimony at committee hearings in the Maryland legislature in support of legislation that would toughen the state’s anti-trafficking laws.
B.S. Biology, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Currently pursuing MSW, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Samantha Vardaman is the lead on policy issues for Shared Hope International coordinating advocacy efforts to further the protection of sex trafficking victims. Samantha joined Shared Hope International in July 2005 to direct the Trafficking Markets project researching sex trafficking markets in Jamaica, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States funded by the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The resulting report, DEMAND, and a documentary of the same name have been leading resources in the discussion of demand as a primary cause of sex trafficking.
In 2006, Samantha began directing a three year research project in ten U.S. locations into the sex trafficking of American and lawful permanent resident minors in the United States. The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance has led to published assessments of the identification and delivery of services to victims of child sex trafficking in each of the ten locations, as well as training resources for first responders new to the issue. An eleventh location was assessed in 2009—Broward and Dade Counties, Florida. The research was compiled into The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children, released in July at a Congressional briefing to highlight the issue of child sex trafficking in America and admitted into the Congressional Record at a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights and Oversight on the issue of International Violence Against Women in October 2009.
Samantha is a licensed attorney and practiced law in the Washington, DC area before focusing her efforts on human rights advocacy and international development. Before joining Shared Hope International, Samantha was the Director of the Moldova office for the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI) where she directed a rule of law program which included anti-trafficking legislation development, anti-corruption initiatives, legal and judicial training, economic empowerment initiatives, and facilitating the provision of pro bono legal services for the public, including victims of human trafficking and their families.
Samantha has her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
Taryn Mastrean joined Shared Hope International in 2009. After completing an analysis of data derived from a study of case files from a youth crisis center for indicators of domestic minor sex trafficking, Taryn designed a case study on trafficking victim identification within the sexual violence context for presentation at the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence Conference in February 2010. In 2010, Taryn completed field research and authored reports on the sex trafficking of United States citizen and lawful permanent resident minors in Arizona and in Virginia, under methodology funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Taryn designed the Protected Innocence Challenge toolkits, providing resources and a strategy for improvements in the legal framework criminalizing sex trafficking of minors and providing victims protections. She has appeared on webcasts hosted by the Family Research Council and the Christian Broadcasting Network. Taryn has presented before the Arizona Judicial Conference, Victims’ Rights Caucus, and Governor’s Conference on Combatting Human Trafficking in Maryland in addition to local church and community events. Her ongoing concentration in leveraging social and digital media to generate awareness has resulted in extensive coverage and awareness of the dynamics of child sex trafficking in the U.S.
Taryn graduated summa cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a dual degree in public relations and advertising and a certificate in economics, and led the public relations team as creative director for Associated Students of Northern Arizona University and marketing team as marketing director of an urgent care facility.
Presently, Elizabeth trains law enforcement, service providers, and related professionals, as well as community members across the U.S. on the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) and manages the ongoing development and implementation of training curriculums for diverse audiences. She is currently an active member of the Washington, D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force, the Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force and the Virginia Coalition Against Human Trafficking. In addition to training, Elizabeth regularly presents awareness and education programs for state leaders using Shared Hope’s Protected Innocence Initiative, a comprehensive approach to responding to child sex trafficking through strong laws and enforcement tools. She has worked undercover with other professionals to document child sex trafficking, appearing most recently on a nationally recognized program, “Our America with Lisa Ling.”
Eliza Reock has a strong background in non-profit and private foundation leadership. Prior to joining the Shared Hope team she was responsible for the distribution and strategic implementation of over $3 million in funding targeted towards combatting domestic minor sex trafficking supporting a range of issues including advocacy to end online classified facilitation of sex trafficking, grassroots coalition building, comprehensive research initiatives and taskforce development for state level programs. Eliza has served in numerous advisory and committee roles at both the state and national level contributing to the development of a services protocol in Georgia, path-breaking strategies in access to services for child sex trafficking victims and promising practices guidelines for other states. She is a frequent speaker and trainer on domestic minor sex trafficking identification and response and has worked to combat child sex slavery through research, advocacy and direct victim service. As Director of Programs at Shared Hope International, Eliza manages Shared Hope’s funding and development of restoration programs, monitors and evaluates current services partners and works to identify and share leading field techniques to develop service and shelter provision systems across the nation. She also provides critical policy support to Shared Hope’s Protected Innocence Initiative as an advocate on the issues around establishing protections against Internet facilitation of child sex trafficking.
2013 Board of Directors
Dr. Fernando D. Proano
Pastor Ronald L. Hart
Curtis Lind Jr