Human Trafficking Panel
Dr. Sharon Cooper is a Developmental and Forensic Pediatrician who cares for children and select adults with different abilities, as well as those who have been victims of maltreatment. Dr. Cooper retired from the United States Army with the rank of Colonel and holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences at Bethesda, Maryland. She has provided numerous lectures to medical, nursing, mental health, judicial, social science, and investigative agencies, including the National Judicial College, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Australian Federal Police, and INTERPOL. Her primary areas of expertise include all areas of child maltreatment, child torture and child sexual exploitation.
Dr. Cooper has published numerous chapters on the subject of child sexual exploitation and is the lead editor of one of the most comprehensive texts in the U.S. on this subject. She works with victims and families of children who have been the prey of all types of online and offline exploitation. She is a Board member and consultant to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and for more than a decade has taught several thousand special victim units and vice investigators about victim vulnerability, health impact, and diverse forms of exploitation in sex trafficking
Lisa C. Williams is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and trafficking survivor. Not only did she find her own freedom from a life of trauma and sexual exploitation but has freed countless others like herself. In 1999, Ms. Williams founded Circle of Friends; Celebrating Life, Inc. to educate, equip and empower women to live free of violence, as they served other women and girls. From those beginnings, Living Water for Women was founded in 2005, followed by Living Water for Girls and the Living Water Learning Resource Center in 2007; all programs which address systemic issues that make girls and young women more vulnerable to exploitation. Over the years, Ms. Williams helped to spare the lives of over 230 children and countless young women. Through these intensive programs, Lisa developed what the Federal Bureau of Investigation called "one of the most comprehensive, rehabilitative programs for child victims of sex trafficking in the country."
Ms. Williams is a veteran of both the United States Air Force and Army who honorably served our country as a commissioned military officer (petroleum surveillance engineer). A sought-after speaker and trainer, Ms. Williams has been called on to give keynote addresses including thought leadership and experience on trafficking and sexual exploitation, self-care for women leaders, community collaboration, transformation and hope. Among those highlights: in 2013 Williams spoke at the United Nations 57th Commission on the Status of Women on the topic: The Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls . Invited back March 13, 2015, Lisa spoke at the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women on the topic: Unfinished Business from the Beijing Platform for Action . Lisa had the distinct honor to speak at the White House on the topic: Eradicating Modern Day Slavery. Ms. Williams was instrumental in bringing Rachel’s Law to Georgia. First passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 2015, it was incorporated into the state constitution through a ballot vote in November 2016, and provides a safe harbor for sexually exploited children.