President Biden has chosen Amy Solomon to lead the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which includes major DOJ components on anticrime grantmaking of $5 billion annually, criminal justice research and statistics, and juvenile justice.
Solomon had been heading the agency since March 2021 under an appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Her new appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.
At a briefing in March on President Biden's budget proposal for the year starting in October, Solomon said the plan "is a redoubling of the President’s commitment, to both public safety and strategic justice reform ... the investments we made last year and will continue to make this year represent a huge down payment on the strategies that the ’23 budget proposes to build on."
She had been Vice President of Criminal Justice at Arnold Ventures, where she led a corrections reform portfolio that aimed to reduce the reach and transform the culture of prisons, promote a shift in the focus of community supervision from "catching failure to promoting success," she said on her LinkedIn page, and expand economic opportunities for people with a criminal record.
From 2010 to 2017, Solomon served in the Obama administration as director of policy for OJP and as senior advisor to OJP’s Assistant Attorney General. She worked with Justice Department leadership and the White House to implement a broad range of criminal justice reform initiatives.
Solomon also was executive director of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a cabinet-level body established by President Obama representing more than 20 federal agencies. The Council led a number of policy reforms, including the federal Ban the Box rule, fair housing guidance, the Second Chance Pell initiative, and Medicaid guidance for the justice-involved population.
Solomon had previously spent 10 years at the Urban Institute, directing projects relating to prisoner reentry and public safety. She has worked at the National Institute of Justice, managed a community service program for justice-involved individuals, developed reentry strategies for a state Department of Correction, and worked with juveniles in probation, halfway house and school settings.
She holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan.