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The Director is appointed by the President to lead the National Institute of Justice and establish the agency's objectives and research investments, 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.

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

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.
    Watch Director La Vigne discuss inclusive research in a short video.
  • 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 evaluation research with a strong implementation science component by supporting evaluations of intervention'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

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

Advancing Science: The Official Newsletter of the NIJ Director

Welcome to Advancing Science: The Official Newsletter of the NIJ Director. I know you have many ways of keeping up with NIJ, but this newsletter is a bit different. Its purpose is to elevate my priorities and engagements as NIJ Director and to share some of the many exciting activities in which NIJ staff, grantees, and practitioner and community partners are involved. 

    Past Issues

    Date Created: August 11, 2022