Alumna Signs International Treaty – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Alumna Signs International Treaty

After devoting her life to ensuring the welfare of children around the world, Margot Bean ’75, saw her life’s work realized when she signed the Hague Family Law Treaty on behalf of the U.S. government. This treaty, which Bean has been negotiating since 2002, sets up a system to collect support payments owed to children from parents so that these children can maintain a decent standard of living in the absence of their parents. The U.S. delegates joined 60 other countries and organizations that were also involved in the negotiations of this treaty. As an integral force in the U.S. diplomatic delegation to finalize the treaty, Bean was personally sanctioned by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to sign on behalf of the United States government, making the United States the first national signatory, on Friday, Nov. 23, 2007. Margot has been the head of the Federal Office of Child Support since 2005, making her the highest child support government official in the country. As Commissioner, Bean leads an office whose mission is to serve children and families by assuring financial and medical support is available to children through locating parents, establishing paternity and support obligations and enforcing those obligations. Prior to her current appointment, Bean served in the New York State Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) as senior policy advisor from 1998 until being appointed deputy commissioner and director in 2000. Under her leadership, child support collections in the state reached record levels. “Learning about advancements in child support in other countries has resulted in new endeavors for our national child support enforcement program, such as pursuing innovative ideas in developing our national strategic plan,” says Bean. “Watching the direction other countries are taking encourages our own Federal and State partners to examine processes for improving our national program.” Bean previously served as the director of the Office of Child Support Enforcement in Guam in 1980 and also served as assistant attorney general in prosecution, civil litigation, and family divisions. While at William Smith, Bean majored in Political Science and was a member of the Herons field hockey team. After graduating, Bean pursued a law degree at Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law.