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RIP Thomas C. Atwood

Below is an obituary for Thomas C. Atwood, former Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement at IWP. It is is reposted from the Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home. Please click here for a bio of Mr. Atwood, and here for a Leadership Spotlight about Mr. Atwood


Tom Atwood, 400x500

Thomas Clifford Atwood
Advocate for Faith, Family, and Freedom
July 20, 1951 – April 25, 2018

Thomas Clifford Atwood, 66, of Clifton, VA peacefully went to be with the Lord at home on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, with his beloved wife of 37 years, Eileen, by his side. In both his personal and professional life, he was a dedicated advocate for non-profit organizations promoting family values.

Thomas was born in Hyannis, MA on July 20, 1951, to Douglas Allen Atwood and Minnie Eldredge Atwood, the second of six children. After graduating from Roxbury Latin School, his father’s alma mater, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Brandeis University. He managed an extremely successful natural foods supermarket in Boston, where he met the love of his life, Eileen. Following their marriage in 1980, Tom and Eileen moved to Virginia Beach where he earned his Master of Arts in Public Policy and Master of Business Administration from Regent University in 1986, as Outstanding Scholar and Graduate.

Their move in 1987 to Northern Virginia began Thomas’ professional life in Washington D.C. at The Heritage Foundation as Executive Editor of the prestigious Policy Review. While at Heritage, Thomas became Director of Coalition Relations where he served as liaison to hundreds of diverse nonprofits, successfully strengthening their collaboration and effectiveness. In 1998, he transitioned to Vice President for Policy and Programs at the Family Research Council where he spearheaded key initiatives and mission-critical programs in government and media relations, promoted healthy families, and edited research and publications.

In 2001, Thomas joined the National Council for Adoption, where he led instrumental changes as President and CEO from 2002-2008, promoting a global culture of adoption. He influenced public policy supporting domestic and international adoptions through meetings and events with President Bush and many foreign dignitaries. Working as a consultant for several years, including being a Senior Associate with Ben Case Consulting Services, Thomas accepted the position of Vice President of Institutional Advancement for The Institute of World Politics in 2012. While there, he worked effectively to secure the financial future of the graduate school by leading fundraising campaigns, including their Silver Anniversary Campaign to purchase the campus, fund current programs, and enable the achievement of the Institute’s strategic plan priorities.

In his personal life, Tom worked tirelessly for adoption and family rights, volunteering on the Board of Directors for Bethany Christian Services from 1996-2005. In 2005, he served as an NGO Delegate to the Special Commission of The Hague Commission on Intercountry Adoption and in 2008, he co-authored The Whole Life Adoption book. Tom also served on the Board of Trustees for the Council on Accreditation from 2003-2008, and as a Trustee and Chairman for the Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia from 2010-2014, and was appointed by the governor to the Virginia Board of Social Services from 2012-2015.

Tom’s professional and personal advocacy for the family mirrored an ardent devotion to his own family. This was especially true of his devotion to his beloved wife and son, but he also went many miles to stay in touch with extended family. He relished cooking and grilling, cheering on Boston sports teams, and avidly supporting his son’s passion for robotics. A deeply committed Christian, he was an equally faithful member of his church family, including serving on the vestry, various committees, and volunteering in many capacities as a member of Truro Anglican Church for the last 30 years. Tom’s warmth, humility, diligence and integrity, along with his excellent management and writing skills, were hallmarks that drew people to him, garnering their respect and friendship.

Thomas is survived by his wife, Eileen Atwood; and son, Christopher Atwood, and his wife, Brittany. Also, his brother Steven Atwood of Chatham, MA; his brother James Atwood and his wife, Shelley, of Newton, MA; his brother Frederick Atwood of Oakton, VA; his brother Daniel Atwood and his wife, Mary, of Woodstock, CT; his sister Laura Duran and her husband, Angel Felix, of Chatham, MA, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Friday, May 4, 2018 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Road Fairfax, VA 22032. A Celebration of Life memorial service and reception will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, May 5, 2018, at Truro Anglican Church, 10520 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22030.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial donations be made In Memory of Thomas Atwood to either The Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036,; or to Bethany Christian Services of Fairfax, 10332 Main Street #359, Fairfax, Virginia 22030,