Wayne W. Sharp, Ph.D.
Wayne W. Sharp, Ph.D, has faithfully served National Council For Adoption, founded in 1980, since its first decade. Adopted at birth in Dallas, Texas by two loving and inspirational parents, Bob Henry and Mayana Yates Sharp, he was raised on the family’s Knickerbocker Ranch near San Angelo, Texas, and thrived.
After receiving his Ph.D. in International Trade & Finance from Michigan State University, Dr. Sharp went on to a distinguished 25-year career as an international economist and diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving with distinction in the U.S. Embassies in Guatemala, Paris, and the U.S. Mission to the European Communities in Brussels and retiring with the rank of Minister Counselor. His global career took him to more than 75 countries, enabling him to learn about many cultures and economies and acquire fluency in Spanish, French, and Russian. Dr. Sharp was twice awarded the President’s Meritorious Foreign Service Award, and as a Loaned Executive served two years in the White House as an Assistant Director of the President’s Council on International Economic Policy under President Gerald Ford.
He became involved with NCFA as an advocate for the legal rights of adoptees in the mid-1980s, when he reached out to and became close friends with NCFA’s Founding President and CEO, Dr. William (Bill) Pierce. He has devoted his planning, economic, financial, and leadership skills as a volunteer and philanthropist for adoption and foster care ever since. His diplomatic career allowed him to offer vital support to NCFA related to intercountry adoption and the Hague Convention; in recent years, he has also developed a passionate concern for the plight of children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted.
Dr. Sharp’s 15-year record of board leadership includes service as NCFA’s Treasurer, Vice-Chair, two-term Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the 30th Anniversary Gala, and Founding Chairman of NCFA’s Foster Care Task Force and Committee. Together with his wife Linda, also a dedicated NCFA volunteer, he founded NCFA’s Families For All Development Fund in 2020. [Click here to learn more about securing the future of adoption by supporting the Fund.]
In 2022, the Sharps were honored with the Ruby Lee Piester Adoption Award, NCFA’s highest and most prestigious award, recognizing a lifetime of service and given only four previous times. [Click here to watch a video produced in celebration of their award in which Wayne and Linda tell their story.] Since Dr. Sharp’s retirement from full-time board service in 2022, he has served as NCFA’s first Emeritus Director and Ambassador for Adoption, continuing to advise the NCFA board and staff on financial, fundraising, and strategic planning topics, and serving as a tireless champion for waiting children and adopted individuals.
In addition to his heart for adoption, he has also volunteered his time and treasure for children’s health, musical arts, and his community of McLean, Virginia, where he and his wife Linda have made their home since 1968 (between foreign assignments). They are the proud parents of two adult children: Catherine Lynette Sharp of Rosslyn, Virginia; and Stephen Wayne Sharp, who resides with his wife, Peggy, in Mountain View, California.