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SCAN's Decorated Leader Diane Charles Steps Down after 11 years

Posted on Mar 01,2010
Filed Under News , Community,

Studies show that child abuse occurs in 30 to 60 percent of family violence cases that involve families with children.
Studies show that child abuse occurs in 30 to 60 percent of family
violence cases that involve families with children.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Diane Charles, executive director of Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia since 1999,  has announced her decision to leave SCAN in June 2010.   

Charles is the longest serving full-time executive director to lead the Alexandria-based nonprofit, which is dedicated to the well-being of children and the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Northern Virginia .  

Last year, SCAN celebrated its 20th anniversary and is a guiding force in the region's efforts to protect children and support families through education, advocacy and support.

"Diane is an incredible leader —both here at SCAN and in the community at large—and a class act.  She has taken SCAN to new heights, strengthening our community in the process. Thanks to Diane’s hard work and professionalism, SCAN is strong and well-positioned to continue its important mission," said Kim Fiske, SCAN's Board President.  "Over the years, we’ve appreciated Diane’s dedication, skills, and friendship, and are grateful that she’s given us the time to find a well-suited successor."  

"I've been honored to be a part of such an effective organization that has positively changed the lives of so many children and their families," said Diane. "This was a difficult decision to make, but at the same time I look forward to new challenges as I begin this new chapter in my life."

Diane Charles at the 2007 Toast to Hope Gala.
Diane Charles at the 2007 Toast to Hope Gala.

Since joining SCAN 11 years ago, Charles has guided the organization in its growth as well as its strategic connection with other nonprofits and agencies across Northern Virginia and with the state.  Under her leadership, SCAN increased its staff from 3 to 11 and its annual budget from less than $250,000 to more than $650,000.    

In her early years as executive director, Charles guided SCAN's Parent Education Program to launch its first programs for Spanish-speaking families and develop educational parent support groups.  She also oversaw the creation of SCAN's formal Public Education Program, and later guided the launch of its successful Allies in Prevention Coalition— now a leading force in Northern Virginia 's efforts to educate the public about the incidence of child abuse and neglect  and its effects on our community.  
In recent years, Charles led SCAN's efforts to expand its well-known CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program in the City of Alexandria to serve the Arlington County community.  This groundbreaking expansion has allowed trained volunteers to advocate for many more abused and neglected children involved in the juvenile court system.

While at SCAN, Charles was selected to participate in the pilot Nonprofit Fellowship sponsored by the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington.  Under Diane’s leadership, SCAN received the Leadership Fairfax Community Trustee Award for a Nonprofit in 2007.  She also received the 2007 Nonprofit Leader of the Year award from the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the Alexandria Community Trust.  

Diane currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Alexandria Council of Human Service Organizations, is a Member of the Alexandria Police Foundation and just completed two years as Chair of the Church Council at Fairlington United Methodist Church .  Diane serves as the Chair of the Alexandria Federal Emergency Management Administration  (FEMA) Board and previously served as Chair of the Human Services Coalition of Northern Virginia and on the Advisory Council for the Retired and Volunteer Program.

Prior to joining SCAN, Charles was the Assistant to Alexandria Mayor Kerry J. Donley.  As the Mayor’s only staff person, Charles served as the liaison between citizens and various City Departments, helping to navigate current issues facing the City.  
Before going to work full-time for the Mayor, Diane served from 1993 until 1996 as the Executive Director of the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau. Diane worked on a national fundraising project for the American Diabetes Association throughout 1997.  

Prior to this, she was also employed as the Director of Training for the Sheraton Carlton Hotel in Washington, D. C., following her work in government affairs for the American Society for Training and Development.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the University of Virginia and a Master of Science degree in Education and Human Resource Development from Virginia Tech.  

The SCAN Board of Directors has set up an Executive Search Committee.  The committee will release a job description and application details via the SCAN Web site at

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