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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Asplen, Executive Director
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 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.
Elizabeth Pyke, Director of Government Affairs
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
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.
Bethany Broida, Director of Communications
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.
Gillian Caplan, Program Manager
Gillian Caplan joins the NCJA 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.
Simone Greene, Program Manager
Simone Greene joins NCJA 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.
Ron LeGrand, Policy Director
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.
Spike Bradford, Program Analyst
Spike Bradford joins NCJA as a Program Analyst & Data Entry Coordinator, with 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.
Kemi Shonibare, Finance and Membership
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.
Bob Greeves, Senior Policy Adviser
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.
Matt Wade, Program Manager
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
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.
David Steingraber, Senior Policy Adviser
David provides training and technical assistance related to justice information sharing.
Previously, he served as Executive Director of the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, a position to which he was appointed to by Governor Jim Doyle in 2003 and served in until 2011. The Office was responsible for strategic planning, program development, technical assistance and grant administration for a variety of state and federal programs related to criminal justice, public safety and homeland security.
David was also the Administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Law Enforcement Services (1995 to 2003), Chief of Police in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin (1980 to 1995) and Chief of Police in Middleton, Wisconsin (1975 to 1980). He is a life member and past president of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association and a life member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
David is a past president of the NCJA, and has served on that organization’s Board of Directors. He is an at-large member of SEARCH, the national consortium for criminal justice information and statistics and serves on that organization’s Board of Directors. He represented the National Governor’s Association on the US Department of Justice GLOBAL (Justice Information Sharing Initiative) Advisory Committee and served as a member of that organization’s Executive Steering Committee between 2008 and 2012.
Tammy Woodhams, Director of Grants
Tammy promotes, coordinates, facilitates, and delivers "train-the-trainer" community based strategic planning sessions designed to enhance justice planning and build capacity of State Administrative Agencies and Tribal governments across the US. She assists in curriculum development, research and identification of model strategies, establishment of virtual communication tools, and creation of an information clearinghouse. Working closely with the NCJA senior staff, Tammy serves as liaison to BJA, state and local agency representatives. She also is the principal staff assisting the Justice Information Sharing Practitioners (JISP) in managing their activities, policy initiatives, and periodic meetings.
For more than 25 years, Tammy has been in various positions within Kalamazoo County Government including serving as Executive Director for the Kalamazoo Criminal Justice Council and Community Corrections Director of the local Office of Community Corrections. In these positions she led the implementation of multi-disciplinary collaborative criminal justice projects and oversaw the implementation and expansion of eleven alternative programs including the nation’s first drug court for women offenders and Project RETURN (Reentry of Ex-Offenders Through Unique Resource Networking.) She further assisted in the development and implementation Kalamazoo County’s Integrated Criminal Justice Management Information System Plan.
Tammy received her Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University.