U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

The NIJ Director

Portrait of NIJ Director Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D.
NIJ Director Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D.

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. In March 2022, President Biden appointed Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D., to be Director of OJP’s National Institute of Justice. Dr. La Vigne was sworn in as Director on May 9, 2022. Learn more about Dr. La Vigne.

Learn about the Office of the Director.

Director La  Vigne's priorities include:

  • Fostering rigorous and inclusive research that informs efforts to promote safer communities and more equitable justice systems. This includes supporting research that engages the people closest to the issue — community members, crime survivors, criminal justice practitioners, people who have experienced incarceration, and business leaders — to guide data collection, help interpret findings, and identify implications of research findings for policy and practice.
  • Elevating studies that apply a racial equity lens; recognize that race and ethnicity often serve as proxies for structural inequality; and include an assessment of racially disparate impacts of programs, policies, and practices.
  • Infusing technology research with a strong implementation science component by supporting evaluations of technology’s implementation in the field and identify both its impacts and its unintended consequences.
  • Encouraging interdisciplinary research that includes both quantitative and qualitative inquiries and examines net costs and benefits.
  • Ensuring that research evidence is translated into actionable information to promote change in the field.

Messages from the Director

June 7, 2022: Director Nancy La Vigne’s Vision

See a list of past Directors since 1969 and their speeches, remarks, and messages.

Date Published: May 4, 2022