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Portrait of David Muhlhausen, NIJ Director, and Alan Hanson, Acting Assistant Attorney General

Left to right: David B. Muhlhausen, NIJ Director, and Alan Hanson, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs

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The NIJ Director

The Director is appointed by the President to lead the National Institute of Justice and establish the agency's objectives, guided​ by the needs of the field and the priorities of the ​U.S. Department of Justice.

The current Director, David B. Muhlhausen, was sworn in August 22, 2017.

Follow the NIJ Director through the entries from the "Director's Corner" below. You also may:

Director's Corner

October 20, 2017 — Innovative Approaches to Addressing Violent Crime

Director Muhlhausen discussed violent crime at the CNA Executive Session "Innovative Approaches to Addressing Violent Crime." Read his prepared remarks


October 12, 2017 — Spotlight on NIJ Research at International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference

Next week, law enforcement leadership from around the world will attend the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in Philadelphia. On Saturday, October 21, NIJ will host our 4th annual Saturday Session around the theme “What Works and What Matters in Policing.” The session will include three panels bringing together law enforcement and academic experts to discuss officer safety, technology, training, research, and other key issues. Learn more about the Saturday Session.


September 27, 2017 —  CrimeSolutions.gov Has Rated 500 Programs and Counting

It’s important to celebrate milestones, and CrimeSolutions.gov has hit a big one — 500 rated programs. That’s 500 opportunities for the criminal and juvenile justice and victim service practitioners and policymakers we serve to learn about what works, what doesn’t, and what’s promising. Read the director's full message on this milestone.


The following posts are from former Acting Director Howard Spivak.

July 31, 2017 —  Policing Strategic Research 2017-2022

During my tenure at the National Institute of Justice, numerous high-profile incidents across the nation have illustrated the dangers and challenges of policing in the United States. The rigors of policing have become complicated by the expanding roles of the police that require officers to protect the nation against foreign and domestic threats; combat and deter crime; and respond to calls for service from the public. At the same time, the police have been subjected to unprovoked and premeditated attacks and hostility from various members of the community that they are sworn to protect. All of these factors have resulted in a broader discussion involving the need to support policing through science. Read Dr. Spivak's complete message on NIJ's Policing Strategic Research Plan.


July 12, 2017 — Equipment Guidance From NIJ and Our Expanding Standards Program

In our personal lives, most of us do some research before we buy a new tool or piece of equipment. We want to make sure that what we buy works as it is supposed to and that we get our money’s worth. When criminal justice agencies purchase equipment, the stakes are higher. Equipment is costly, budgets are tight, and most importantly the lives of officers and the public often depend on that equipment functioning as promised. For more than four decades, NIJ has offered guidance for the procurement and use of technology and equipment for the law enforcement and public safety community. Read the Acting Director's message on equipment guidance and standards.


May 30, 2017 — Valuing and Communicating Science That Advances Justice

The value of criminal justice research is inextricably tied to the extent to which it informs and improves policy and practice. If a research project fails to address the field’s priority questions, or if the results of research are never effectively communicated to criminal justice practitioners, the relevance and utility of that research is severely diminished. Read the Director's message on the importance of communicating research findings.


May 15, 2017 — Keeping Officers Safe – We Rely on Officers to Keep Us Safe, and They Can Rely on Us

Our nation’s law enforcement officers are put in dangerous and stressful situations every day as they protect and serve their communities. Some of these dangers, such as gun violence, are obvious; whereas others, such as officer fatigue, are a hidden yet significant risk to an officer’s well-being. Read Dr. Spivak's full message.


April 3, 2017 — Supporting Forensic Science Is a Priority at the National Institute of Justice

I have dedicated my life to understanding and preventing violence. From my training as a physician, working on violence prevention at the Centers for Disease Control, and now at NIJ, I have seen the contribution of science to our understanding of how to prevent and address violence and its consequences. Read Dr. Spivak's complete message on NIJ's commitment to the forensic sciences.


March 23, 2017 — Extending the Application Deadline for Two Priority-Area Solicitations

In February’s Director’s Corner, I discussed the importance of our work and our ongoing commitment to the relevance, reach, and impact of the research we fund. To help meet that commitment, we are extending the application deadline for two of our open solicitations. Read my message to learn more.


March 10, 2017 — On the Passing of Ray Paternoster

We at NIJ join the rest of the criminal justice research community in mourning the loss of Ray Paternoster, Ph.D., who has passed away.

Paternoster, a Distinguished Professor in the department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, College Park, dedicated his career to advancing our understanding of and pursuit of justice. Among his recent work, Paternoster was studying decision-making among adult offenders and nonoffenders and the effects of collateral consequence laws on the rates of returns to prison.

In addition to his scientific contributions, Paternoster was a role model and mentor to young scholars.

You may read more about Paternoster’s life and work in a tribute on the University of Maryland’s website.


February 6, 2017 — Supporting Research With Relevance, Reach, and Impact: NIJ’s Fiscal Year 2017 Solicitations

I am honored to serve as the Acting Director of NIJ. In this, my first message from the Director’s Corner, I want to discuss our current funding opportunities with a focus on relevance, reach, and impact.

NIJ is committed to bring together the best minds from across scientific disciplines and justice professions to address the many issues faced by the criminal justice system. Read Dr. Spivak's message.

Date Modified: October 20, 2017