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.
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 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
- May 15, 2023: The United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network of Institutes Interviews NIJ Director La Vigne, article in PNI Newsletter 3rd Issue
- March 7, 2023: Inclusive Research: Engaging with the People Closest to the Issue, video
- February 15, 2023: Director La Vigne Discusses Forensic Research and Development at NIJ, video interview with AAFS TV
- January 9, 2023: "Selling the Science: Our Collective Visions for the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics," by Director La Vigne and Alex R. Piquero, Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics, published in the Criminologist, the newsletter of the American Society of Criminology.
- January 5, 2023: "Reliable data and research on crime is needed now more than ever," by Director La Vigne and Alex R. Piquero, Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics, published in The Hill.
- December 7, 2022: "From the Director: Harnessing the Power of Data-Driven, Inclusive Research," from the December 2022 issue of Police Chief.
- November 17, 2022: NIJ Director La Vigne Outlines NIJ’s Priorities at the American Society of Criminology’s 2022 Annual Meeting
- November 15, 2022: "Getting the Most Out of Research Partnerships," article appearing in November/December issue of Corrections Today.
- September 12, 2022: A New Vision for NIJ with Director Nancy La Vigne, podcast episode
- July 19, 2022: In Acceptance of the SEARCH 2022 Justice Policy Leadership Award
- June 7, 2022: Director Nancy La Vigne’s Vision
- May 24, 2022: Addresses the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing
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 the inaugural issue of 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.