Staff Directory and Bios


The NCJA staff has a wealth of experience in providing assistance to federal, state, local and tribal justice agencies to identify barriers and develop strategies to increase the effectiveness of criminal justice agencies and programs. Staff bios and contact information can be found below. To reach the main office, please email info@ncja.org.

Chris Asplen, Executive Director

casplen.jpg

Chris Asplen has served as Executive Director of the NCJA since January, 2016. Asplen is a former prosecutor, and a national and international expert on the use of DNA technologies. Previously, he served as Director of the DNA Legal Assistance Unit for the American Prosecutor’s Research Institute and the National District Attorney’s Association, as an Assistant United States Attorney and as the Executive Director of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence for the U.S. Department of Justice. In private practice, Asplen has advocated for policy and legislative initiatives integrating DNA technology, including post-conviction DNA, into criminal justice systems around the world. He has worked with governments and law enforcement agencies in 35 countries to implement DNA technology to maximize its ability to identify and convict the guilty while protecting the innocent. A noted national and international speaker he has testified before the U.S. Congress, the South African and Philippine Parliaments and has appeared on, and written for, numerous news outlets. He also serves as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism on the prosecution of nuclear terrorism crimes. 

Allison Badger, Program Director

abadgerprofile (1).png

Allison Badger serves as a Program Director for NCJA’s Statewide Planning TTA Project for Byrne JAG SAAs and leads NCJA’s local community planning and engagement efforts. This TTA project assists state administering agencies, local criminal justice advisory boards and councils in the development of comprehensive strategic plans and the implementation of evidence-based programs and practices. As part of this work Allison also oversees NCJA’s work around the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) and engaging local governments and criminal justice coordinating councils.

Her roles prior to joining NCJA have included a focus on criminal justice reform and systems improvement. As the Criminal Justice Planner for Adams County (CO) she primarily served as the administrator for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. In this role, she focused on engaging stakeholders from all areas in criminal justice and the community to find creative and innovative ways to divert individuals from the criminal justice system. Additionally, she created a law enforcement/behavioral health co-response program, and constructed the first municipal court federated query portal that connects municipal court systems to give judicial officers the information they need when making decisions. Allison has over ten years of experience as a program manager with local and state criminal justice agencies.

 

Previously Allison worked for both the Colorado State Court Administrators Office and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office (NC) focusing on utilizing best practices for systems improvements, program evaluation and the use of data based decision making in the criminal justice system.

 

She received her Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is a Certified Project Manager.

Gillian Caplan, Program Manager

IMG-2981_edited.jpg

Gillian Caplan works as a Program Manager, with a specific focus and expertise in Public Safety.  In her role at the NCJA, Gillian assists state administering agencies, local criminal justice advisory boards and councils in the development of comprehensive strategic plans and the implementation of evidence-based programs and practices.

Prior to joining the NCJA, Gillian was a Project Manager at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), where she worked with law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve to develop innovative strategies for healing in the wake of high-profile incidents including officer involved shootings and violence against the police. While at IACP, Gillian also managed projects focused specifically on community-based violence reduction strategies and approaches to providing services to victims who are typically under resourced.  Previously, Gillian worked at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research through which she managed the Baltimore Violence Reduction Collaborative, an effort to effectively reduce violence in Baltimore, MD by bringing together the Baltimore Police Department, State’s Attorney’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, and Johns Hopkins University. 

 

Gillian received her Masters Degree in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a concentration in health policy, urban violence reduction, and youth violence prevention and intervention.  

Spike Bradford, Senior Program Analyst

Spike%20Bradford%20headshot_edited.jpg

Spike Bradford is a Senior Program Analyst with the Byrne JAG training and technical assistance team, bringing expertise in research, writing, policy and data analysis for jurisdictions engaged in strategic planning.  Spike works to assist state administering agencies, local criminal justice advisory boards and councils with the research into promising practices as they develop comprehensive strategic plans and the implement evidence-based programs and practices.

Prior to joining NCJA, Spike worked as editor-in-chief for the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) for four years, where he oversaw and contributed to the production of dozens of informational and influential communications products. During his tenure, PJI led the push to recognize needed improvements to pretrial and bail systems as a national priority. He also worked as a senior research associate at the Justice Policy Institute, researching and writing about the most current challenges facing justice systems.

Suzanne Breedlove, Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Compensation Senior Program Manager

Suzanne Breedlove is a Senior Program Manager at the OVC Center for VOCA Administrators (VOCA Center) and serves as the TTA lead for VOCA Victim Compensation State Administrating Agencies (SAAs). Suzanne coordinates and delivers virtual and onsite peer-to-peer training and technical assistance to states and territories to create a strong support system, broaden victim services to historically underserved populations and advance promising policies and practices in federal grants administration. She serves as an integral member of the NCJA team and also collaborates with external partners including the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Board (NACVCB) and other national partners and TTA providers to address pressing victim compensation program needs and provide meaningful support to all SAAs. 

 

Suzanne has more than 36 years of experience in victim services. For most of her career, she held the position of Director of Victims Services for the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council where she administered the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Program, Sexual Assault Examination Fund, and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Assistance and Compensation grants. 

 

Nationally, she has served on the Board of Directors for both the NACVCB and the National Association of Victims Assistance Administrators (NAVAA). Suzanne has a long history of working with communities experiencing mass violence. She assisted NACVCB in drafting the first ever Mass Casualty Protocol Manual for Victims Compensation Programs and also assisted OVC, with portions of The Oklahoma City Bombing After Action Report and the 9/11 After Action Report.

 

Throughout her career, Suzanne has served as a mentor for state compensation and assistance administrators on compensation program issues and grants management for VOCA administrators. Her life’s work has been to improve the lives of crime victims and provide guidance to those who serve them. 

 

Suzanne also has a history of improving access to grants and compensation for Native American Tribes and tribal crime victims through policy changes that recognize and honor the unique needs of the Native American community. Through a State-Tribal Demonstration Program, she oversaw the important outreach effort that was recognized by OVC in 2015 when she was awarded the Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award for “Public Policy Leadership, Vision, and Innovation that Benefits Crime Victims” during National Crime Victim Rights Week. 

 

Suzanne has a proven history of drafting successful state legislative proposals to improve crime victim compensation benefits and services and she holds a business degree from the Western International University.

Bethany Broida, Director of Communications

bethany2.jpg

Bethany Broida develops and implements communications strategy for the association. She serves as Editor-in-Chief for the association’s newsletters and develops content for the association website. She also oversees the planning for NCJA's annual conference, runs the Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Awards and supervises NCJA's internship program for college students.

Prior to joining the NCJA, Bethany was a reporter at the Legal Times in Washington, D.C. She has also written about criminal justice and education issues for a variety of other publications including the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland Daily Record, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Capital News Service. She also served as a writer/editor and communications manager for the National School Supply and Equipment Association.

Bethany received her Bachelors degree in magazine journalism from Boston University and her masters in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Bob Greeves, Senior Policy Adviser

bob2.jpg

Bob Greeves joined the NCJA in 2014 following his retirement from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), where he served as a policy advisor on matters concerning the integration of local, state, tribal, federal and national justice information systems and networks, as well as the sharing of information among those domains. He was responsible for advising BJA leadership concerning strategic concepts associated with the Justice Information Sharing Initiative and the Attorney General’s Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative. In addition, he advised program officials concerning strategies for discretionary grant making that leverages information technology in the pursuit of law enforcement, justice, public safety and homeland security objectives and outcomes.

Bob was also the architect for creation of the Global Justice XML Data Model that became the premier standard for sharing government information and was adopted by over 200 organizations in the law enforcement, justice, public safety, homeland security and intelligence communities and became the baseline for the National Information Exchange Model. He spearheaded efforts to develop privacy policy guidelines for state and local criminal justice organizations as well as to identify technology solutions for aiding the implementation of privacy policies. He also participated in the development of the National Sex Offender Public Registry.

Simone Greene, Program Manager

MLP_Simone_2151_edited.jpg

Simone Greene works as a Program Manager with a specific focus and expertise on behavioral health interventions in the justice system. Simone works to assist state administering agencies, local criminal justice advisory boards and councils in the development of comprehensive strategic plans and the implementation of evidence-based programs and practices. Simone brings over five years of project management experience in the behavioral health and criminal justice sectors.

Prior to joining NCJA, Simone was the director of stakeholder engagement for the Addiction Policy Forum (APF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health condition. During her tenure with APF, Simone helped state and local jurisdictions with strategic planning, identified and highlighted best practices and engaged with on the ground leaders and stakeholders in a variety of sectors. She also worked in various areas of the criminal justice system including corrections and crime prevention.

Simone received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University and her master's degree in Forensic and Legal Psychology from Marymount University.

Elizabeth Pyke, Director of Government Affairs

Elizabeth%20Pyke%20NCJA%20photo_edited.j

Elizabeth carries the NCJA members’ policy and funding priorities to Capitol Hill and Executive branch agencies. She also works closely with the other state, local and issue advocacy groups in Washington, DC in coalition on state and local criminal justice issues.

For nearly a decade prior to joining the NCJA, Elizabeth worked for three governors in their federal relations offices in Washington, DC. Most recently, she served as the Senior Advisor for Federal Relations in the Iowa Office of State-Federal Relations for Governor Tom Vilsack, managing a portfolio of policy issues that included criminal justice, homeland security, natural resources, agriculture and overall appropriations strategy. Prior to that, Elizabeth served as the Director of Federal Relations for Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, coordinating the State’s federal policy and funding priorities and managed the Governor’s responsibilities as chair of the National Governors Association and as president of the Council of State Governments. Elizabeth began her service to governors as Policy Director for Economic Development in the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations during Governor Ann Richards’ administration, with emphasis on the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S.-Mexico border issues and continued funding for the space station. Elizabeth also spent four years as a Legislative Consultant with the law firm of Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand, representing a variety of public and private sector clients on Capitol Hill.

Elizabeth received her B.A. in Political Science from Wellesley College, and her M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (England). She is a graduate of the 1994 Leadership America class, and is an active member of various volunteer organizations.

Emma Montgomery, Digital Content

Coordinator

Emma.jpg

Emma works on the content and function of the NCJA website and partner websites, manages the Connect2Grants funding library, and helps create and maintain digital content for the NCJA.

Kemi Shonibare, Finance and Membership 

Associate

Kemi's Headshot.jpg

Kemi is responsible for recording the daily financial and membership related activities of NCJA. Prior to her role as Finance and Membership Associate, she worked at NCJA, from mid January 2019, as a part time Finance Assistant for about 2 years. 

Prior to moving to the United States in June 2018, Kemi enjoyed a long professional career which spans over 15 years in accounting and auditing as an accountant/audit manager. She received her accounting certification from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. She is an Associate member of the Institute.

Kemi received her bachelor’s degree in Zoology at the University of Lagos in Nigeria before discovering her passion for finance later on in her early career.

Matt Wade, Program Manager

mwadeprofile.png

Matt Wade joins NCJA as a Project Manager, with a specific focus in performance management, training and strategic planning. Matt works to assist state administering agencies, local criminal justice advisory boards and councils in the development of comprehensive strategic plans and the implementation of evidence-based programs and practices.

 

Matt brings nearly 20 years’ experience working with government entities from a variety of US states and jurisdictions, spending the majority of his career working in government in the Commonwealth of Virginia with both the Department of Social Services (VDSS) and the Department of Veterans Services (VDVS). In those roles Matt held many titles, most notably the Manager of the Office of Program Accountability at VDSS and Regional Director of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program at DVS. Additionally, he has worked with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency where he served as client relations manager for SafeMeasures, a web-based performance management tool, overseeing contract administration and client relations for more than 60 jurisdictions serving both child welfare and juvenile justice populations.

 

Matt is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech where he earned both a Bachelor of the Arts degree in political science, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration.

Linda White-Ballou, Accountant

 

lballou@ncja.org

l-ballou.png

Linda White-Ballou has been the Accountant for the National Criminal Justice Association since July 2016. She received both her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Masters degree in Finance from the University of Maryland. Linda is a seasoned professional with over thirty-five years of experience in financial management, budgeting and accounting in the non-profit industry.

Tammy Woodhams, Director of Programs and Grants Training

tammy.jpg

Tammy oversees the National Center for Grants Management at NCJA. In the last 18 months, she has provided grants management and administration training for over 400 participants and designed and delivered more than 11 training programs in 10 states. She has worked with other national organizations such as NDAA and NAJIS to create and deliver trainings for their audiences. She has hosted NCJA's National Grant Management Training Day, featuring SAAs and grant managers from around the country as well as trainers from U.S. DOJ BJA and the OCFO at the National Forum on Criminal Justice every year for the past 4 years. She is a certified grant management specialist (CGMS) through the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), and is a certified project management professional (PMP).

Tammy also works to assist the executive director to promote, coordinate, facilitate, and deliver training and technical assistance designed to enhance justice planning and build capacity of state, local and tribal governments across the nation. Tammy assists in curriculum development, research and identification of model strategies, use of virtual communication tools and contributes to the information clearinghouse. Tammy serves as liaison to the national level funders, state and local agency representatives and manages National Criminal Justice Reform Project funded by Arnold Ventures to advance pretrial and reentry reform in four states.

Tammy has served for over 25 years in various positions within Kalamazoo County Government including founding executive director for the Kalamazoo Criminal Justice Council (a local justice planning agency) and founding director of the Kalamazoo Office of Community Corrections (in response to Michigan’s Community Corrections Act of 1988). In these positions, she wrote and administered several federal, state and local grant awards. She led the implementation of multi-disciplinary collaborative criminal justice projects and oversaw the implementation and expansion of 11 alternative programs. Notable among these projects were the nation’s first drug court for women offenders and Project RETURN (Reentry of Ex-Offenders Through Unique Resource Networking). Project RETURN was later identified as a model program and one of the first to be supported through the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative through the Michigan Department of Corrections in 2005. She implemented risk and needs assessment instruments and a case management system throughout the community corrections continuum, from pretrial services through prisoner reentry. Tammy facilitated the establishment of stakeholder groups inclusive of leaders and representatives from all aspects of the criminal justice system, health and human service agencies, mental health and substance abuse treatment providers, workforce development, housing, and community groups. She spearheaded the development of “A Plan for Integrating Prevention, Intervention, Correction and Reintegration Programs in the Kalamazoo County Criminal Justice System.” She further assisted in the development and implementation Kalamazoo County’s Integrated Criminal Justice Management Information System Plan.

 

Tammy obtained her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Western Michigan University.

Kellie Rabenhorst, Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Senior Program Manager

Kellie Rabenhorst is a Senior Program Manager at the OVC Center for VOCA Administrators (VOCA Center) and serves as the TTA lead for VOCA Victim Assistance State Administrating Agencies (SAAs). Ms. Rabenhorst coordinates virtual and onsite peer-to-peer training and technical assistance to states and territories to create a strong support system, broaden victim services to historically underserved populations and advance promising policies and practices in federal grants administration. She serves as an integral member of the NCJA team and also collaborates with external partners including the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA), and other national partners and TTA providers to address pressing victim assistance program needs and provide meaningful support to all SAAs. 

Prior to joining NCJA, Kellie was the Federal Grants and Programs Director, and the Office of Violence Prevention Director at the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice where she had oversight over multiple grant programs from the U.S. Department of Justice, including VOCA and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, as well as a state grant to reduce gang violence. She has worked in human services for over twenty years providing direct services to diverse populations in both rural and urban communities specializing in civil rights, juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, substance use and homeless issues. 

 

Kellie has served on the Board of Directors for the National Criminal Justice Association and as the 2nd Vice President for NAVAA. 

She has her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Master of Public Administration degree from Bellevue University. She is certified in Lean Six Sigma.

Ron LeGrand, Policy Director

1920135_10201621298884502_1701514723_n%2

Ron LeGrand is a consultant and an attorney, licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

“Service and a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others” – this has been the consistent theme underlying Ron’s career. As the CEO of LeGrand Group, LLC with a focus on prevention of gender-based violence, criminal justice reform, healthcare and legislative affairs, Ron’s clients have included Fair and Just Prosecution, Americans for Prosperity, Human Rights Watch, Ujima, the National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, the District of Columbia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ron has planned and presented at men’s conferences on domestic violence, planned and coordinated an Issue Forum on domestic violence during the 2017 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, and co-authored a Domestic Violence Awareness Month Op-Ed with actor Omari Hardwick and his wife, Jay, published in Ebony online.

Prior to launching his consulting firm Ron served as Counsel to the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse & Control, as Chief Investigator and Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. During his tenure with the House Judiciary Committee, Ron served as lead Democratic Counsel on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 7, 2013, and as lead Democratic Counsel on the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Over-criminalization Task Force which provided the basis for the introduction of the SAFE Justice Act of 2015 and the FIRST STEP Act of 2018.

Over much of the past several decades, Ron has been engaged in our nation's struggle with drug abuse. He is a former Special Agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and also served as a federal narcotics prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section where he not only successfully prosecuted major drug traffickers but he received the Special Achievement Award following an assignment in Bogota, Colombia, during which he served as Special Legal Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador and persuaded Colombia’s compliance with the Extradition Treaty of 1979.

The recipient of several awards during his service as a Trial Attorney with the U. S Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Ron has also received numerous awards for community service, is listed in the Inaugural Edition (2009) of Who’s Who in Black Washington, D.C., and his service to the House Judiciary Committee was cited in the March 25, 2015, House of Representatives Congressional Record, Volume 161, No. 50. Ron is also an avid member of the 100 Black Men of America and holds a B.A. and a J.D. degree from Boston College.

Janelle Melohn picture.jpg

Janelle Melohn serves as director for The OVC VOCA Center, administered through NCJA, overseeing The OVC VOCA Center staff and consultants and serving as the primary liaison with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Ms. Melohn previously served as the director of the Crime Victim Assistance Division (CVAD) in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, where she advanced the needs and rights of crime victims. Janelle was with CVAD for almost 15 years and oversaw a staff of 29 individuals, an annual budget of roughly $45 million dollars, and eight statewide programs aiding victims of crime including Crime Victim Compensation, Sexual Abuse Examination Payment, Victim Services Support grants, IowaVINE a statewide automated victim notification system, the Identity Theft Passport Program, Registrant Watch an automated victim notification partnership with Department of Public Safety, and Training, Outreach, and Anti-Human Trafficking efforts. 

 

Prior to the joining the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Janelle worked for the Story County Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer supervisor in the Story County Jail. In her 4.5 years there, she supervised a staff of 8 detention officers and maintained the custody, care, and control of the Iowa state and federal inmate population. 

 

Janelle is a current Board of Trustees member of the National Council on Criminal Justice and the immediate past board president of the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators. She has also also served as a board member or trustee for the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, the Iowa Governor’s Criminal Justice Reform Committee, the Friends of Iowa Civil Rights Inc., and the Iowa Sex Offender Research Council. 

 

Janelle is a recognized victim services leader. In 2019, Ms. Melohn received the Trailblazer Award from the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault for her work to prioritize funding and services to open doors for historically marginalized communities. 

 

Janelle holds a Master of Public Administration from Drake University with an emphasis in executive development and a B.S. in Sociology from Iowa State University.

Janelle Melohn, Director, OVC VOCA Center