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News Release

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Announces New Board Chair

Alexandria, Va., June 27, 2012 –The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) is pleased to announce that Patty Wetterling has been elected chair of its Board of Directors. Wetterling takes over for John Ryan who has been appointed chief executive officer of NCMEC.

“It is with highest regard that I turn over the title of chair of the Board of Directors to Patty Wetterling,” said CEO John Ryan. “I know that her experience and knowledge will guide NCMEC, its board, staff and volunteers as we continue to fight for missing and exploited children.”

Wetterling has been on NCMEC’s board for 19 years and has long been an advocate for missing and exploited children. Wetterling's own 11-year-old son Jacob was abducted 22 years ago, while biking home from a convenience store. He has never been found, and his case remains open. Four months after Jacob’s abduction, Wetterling and her husband, Jerry, created the Wetterling Foundation, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. The foundation has evolved into what is known today as the "Jacob Wetterling Research Center." This foundation works to educate the public about why child abductions occur, who is responsible for these abductions, and how they can be stopped. Wetterling is also the co-founder and past director of Team HOPE - a program of NCMEC which provides support to families of missing or sexually exploited children.

"As a parent whose child is missing - and as an advocate for prevention as well as assistance to other families who continue their search - I'm honored to help lead NCMEC as it continues to give hope and strength to those who need it most," said Wetterling.

In addition to her work as NCMEC board chair, Wetterling currently works as director of sexual violence prevention for the Minnesota Department of Health.

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation's clearinghouse, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 3,568,780 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 175,230 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 1,459,829 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 70,627,004 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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