War in Ukraine leaves millions displaced

Connie Belciug, PhD

Executive Director

Connie Belciug leads the CERI team with purpose and clarity. Her passion for protecting childhood stems from her own childhood experience growing up in the Republic of Moldova in Eastern Europe. Now, she brings a unique blend of passion, compassion, and strategy as Executive Director.  

How It Started:

Connie holds a Bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and speaks Romanian, Russian, French, and German. In 2008, she went back to school to pursue a graduate degree in Social Work—the same year she was appointed National Program Director for CERI Moldova. Five years later, her search for effective solutions for children, youth and families at risk led her to UT Austin’s School of Social Work, where she received her PhD in 2016. 

Why CERI? 

Connie lived through Perestroyka and the collapse of the Soviet Empire—and she learned firsthand how poverty and turmoil can negatively affect childhood. Since then, her experiences and faith in God have fueled her calling, leading her to dedicate her life to protecting children.  

Behind the Scenes: 

Connie loves taking nature walks with her husband and two daughters, and she’s known for her uncanny ability to apply a traditional Romanian proverb to any given situation. She attributes her sense of confidence and resolve to the habits of prayer and jogging.   

What Protecting Childhood Means: 

“Making sure every child feels loved and protected.” 

Favorite Childhood Memory:

“My mom’s smile and warm, loving hugs.” 

Family heals children from the effects of their trauma. The love of a family is truly life-changing.


We are global child advocates committed to seeing lives changed through the power of family.