OVC Message Board to Help Exchange Lessons and Practices (HELP) in Victim Services Office for Victims of Crime logo
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  Addressing the Holistic Needs of Crime Victims
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  Advocating for Victims' Rights in Tribal Courts
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  CACs and SARTs Partnering for Sexual Violence Victims
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  Creating an Effective Identity Theft Coalition
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  Crime Victim Considerations for Parole Professionals
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  Domestic Violence
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  Forensic Interviewing in Tribal Communities
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  Forensic Interviewing Tribal Communities
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  Helping Victims of Financial Fraud
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  Implications of Adverse Childhood Experiences for Practitioners
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  Implications of Human Trafficking Federal Strategic Action Plan
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  Incorporating LGBTQ Victims’ Needs into Mainstream Victim Services
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  Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care Principles Into Practice
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  Innovative Practices in Victim Assistance and Compensation
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  Integrating Research Results Into Victim Services
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  Responding to and Avoiding Crime Using Technology
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  Responding to Sexual Assault Victims through Military/Civilian Partnerships
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  Responding to Victims of Cyberbullying
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  Responding to Victims of Stalking on Campus
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  Serving Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
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  Serving Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Sexual Assault Victims
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  Teen Victimization in the Digital Age
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  Using Social Media to Assist Crime Victims
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  Victim Legal Assistance Networks: Needs Assessment/Planning Implementation
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  Working With Victims in Cold Hit DNA Cases
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  Home

Guest Host Biographies

OVC Web Forum Guest Host sessions offer an impressive roster of experts discussing best practices for a wide variety of victim issues. You can read about the guest hosts here. For more information, questions, or comments about the sessions, send an e-mail to OVCproviderforum@ncjrs.gov.

To view a biography, click on the guest host's name below. To learn more about previous years’ guest hosts, visit the Guest Host Biographies Archive.

Current Guest Hosts
Past Guest Hosts

Current Guest Hosts

Carole Warshaw, MD
12/8/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care Principles Into Practice: December 8

Carole Warshaw, M.D., is Director of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (the Center), a project of the Chicago-based Domestic Violence & Mental Health Policy Initiative, of which Dr. Warshaw is Executive Director. The Center develops comprehensive, accessible, and culturally relevant responses to trauma- and mental health-related issues to enhance the capacity of local, state, and national service providers to deliver mental health services for survivors of domestic violence and their children. Dr. Warshaw is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois and a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Services. Dr. Warshaw speaks about domestic violence, trauma, mental health, and psychiatric disabilities nationally and internationally, and has published numerous articles and chapters on these issues. She has served on the National Research Council Committee on the Assessment of Family Violence Interventions, the American Medical Association’s National Advisory Council on Family Violence, and the Family Violence and Abuse and Childhood Trauma committees of the American Psychiatric Association.

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Gabriella Grant
Photo of Gabriella Grant12/8/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care Principles Into Practice: December 8

Gabriella Grant, M.A., is Director of the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care, where she oversees the Center’s research, program, and professional development, as well as policy analysis activities. Ms. Grant also provides Seeking Safety therapy, a model of counseling to help victims of trauma and abuse improve coping skills. Ms. Grant became involved with Seeking Safety in 2006 while managing a 3-year project for the California Department of Public Health to increase access to domestic violence shelters for women with mental health and substance abuse issues. During this project, Ms. Grant helped develop the Seeking Safety trainings and implement them within domestic violence shelters and in the community.

As a trained policy analyst, Ms. Grant looks at how understanding the neurobiological effects of trauma, safety, and coping can be adapted for effective programming, staff training, and policies and procedures to create a therapeutically beneficial environment for a variety of treatment modalities and outcomes. Ms. Grant has trained social services professionals and advocates on topics such as trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. She has worked with criminal justice agencies, the court system, social service agencies, and public health departments to create trauma-informed programming. She also has taught at the primary, secondary, and university levels. Ms. Grant received a bachelor of arts degree from Amherst College, a Latin teaching certificate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, and a master of arts degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins University.

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Past Guest Hosts

Parry Aftab, J.D.
2/28/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Teen Victimization in the Digital Age

Parry Aftab, J.D., is a lawyer and child advocate who specializes in cyberlaw, cyberbullying and cyberharassment, cybercrime, and privacy. She advises nonprofit organizations and national, international, government, and industry policymakers—including the United Nations—on cybersafety, privacy, and risk management. Dr. Aftab is the founder of WiredSafety, a cybersafety charity, and WiredTrust, a risk-management consulting firm. She also created the cyberbullying-prevention Web site StopCyberbullying.org.

As a member of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, operated by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Dr. Aftab helped inform 49 of the 50 state attorneys general about issues relating to verifying a minor's age online and risks to children on the Internet. She also was appointed to the National Telecommunications Information Agency's Online Safety Technology Working Group, created by Congress to advise the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress on cybersafety issues. A member of the MTV Advisory Board, Dr. Aftab was instrumental in developing MTV's A Thin Line campaign. She helped developed the LMK (Let Me Know) initiative for the Girl Scouts of the USA to teach girls about cybersafety, cyberbullying, privacy, and responsible use of digital technologies. She also created the digital dating safety components of Liz Claiborne’s "Love is Not Abuse" curriculum and campaign.

Dr Aftab serves on Facebook's Cybersafety Advisory Board and the Xbox Advisory Board. She also served on the Ad Council Advisory Board for 6 years. Previously, she chaired McAfee’s Consumer Advisory Board and was a member of TRUSTe's board of directors.

Dr. Aftab wrote the first book on Internet safety, A Parent's Guide to the Internet. She has been featured in Biography Magazine, and in Chris Hansen's book, To Catch a Predator. She received her juris doctor degree from the New York University School of Law. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Jessica Alas
8/27/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Victim Legal Assistance Networks: Conducting a Needs Assessment and Planning for Implementation

Jessica Alas has been an attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston, Texas, since 2009, and is currently the Managing Attorney for the Crime Victims Unit. She also serves as the Project Director for the Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Network, which is demonstration project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime. The project’s goal is to create a collaborative network of legal service providers who will provide free, wraparound, holistic legal services to crime victims. Prior to joining Lone Star Legal Aid, Ms. Alas was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Montgomery County Women’s Center in Conroe, Texas, where she worked to improve access to the civil court system for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault through an assisted pro se program focused on family law issues. Ms. Alas received a juris doctorate from the College of Law at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Mary Atlas-Terry
01/29/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Implications of Human Trafficking Federal Strategic Action Plan

Mary Atlas-Terry is a Victim Justice Program Specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). She develops grant programs and monitors cooperative agreements for projects including, but not limited to, direct services for victims of human trafficking. Ms. Atlas-Terry became involved in the crime victims field after the murder of her husband in 1993. Prior to joining OVC in 2003, she served as the director of Families of Murder Victims, a nonprofit victim service program, housed within the Homicide Division of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Atlas-Terry has a master’s degree in social work.

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Joshua Bailes, Esq.
3/26/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Helping Victims of Financial Fraud

Joshua Bailes, Esq., is the Program Manager and Referral Specialist for the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Crime Victim Bar Association. Mr. Bailes directed the development of Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud, which provides resources and step-by-step instructions for advocates working with victims of financial fraud. He has worked with victims of a variety of crimes and has presented publically on issues related to financial fraud and victim recovery. Mr. Bailes is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Raina Bayas
8/27/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Victim Legal Assistance Networks: Conducting a Needs Assessment and Planning for Implementation

Raina Bayas is the Legal Director and former project director of the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Bayas previously served as the project director for the Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Network, which is a demonstration project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime. Ms. Bayas received a bachelor of sciences degree in corporation communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a juris doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Laurel Broten
2/28/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Teen Victimization in the Digital Age

Laurel C. Broten is a public policy expert, lawyer, and crime victims advocate. She also is President and CEO of Broten Public Policy International, Inc., which provides strategic advice on complex public policy challenges around the world. From 2003 to 2013, Ms. Broten served in a number of senior roles in the Government of Ontario. As Minister of Education, she developed and implemented a comprehensive anti-bullying strategy, which mandates that school principals respond to online bullying of students. As Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, she developed Ontario's Sexual Violence Action Plan and tackled the issue of human trafficking and online predation. Previously, Ms. Broten chaired the board of The Gatehouse, a child abuse advocacy center that uses technology to support victims through their testimony. She also authored Ontario's Child Pornography Reporting Act, which requires all Ontarians to report online images of child sexual exploitation or other suspected child abuse.

Ms. Broten has been a life-long advocate for women and children, particularly those who have been victims of crime. Recently, she served on the President's Council of St. Mary's University, where she helped develop a framework for responding to sexual violence on campus and examined the impact of youth culture and sexual violence. Ms. Broten received a bachelor of science degree and a bachelor of arts degree from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and a juris doctorate from the University of Western Ontario. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Roe Bubar, J.D.
11/19/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Forensic Interviewing in Tribal Communities

Roe Bubar, J.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the School of Social Work at Colorado State University. She teaches courses on federal Indian law and policy; indigenous women, children, and tribes; Native American cultural expressions; indigenous film and video; and gender, violence, and indigenous peoples. She also serves as Chair of the Women’s Studies Board and as Affiliate Faculty in Women’s Studies. Ms. Bubar has more than 20 years of experience in the victim services field. She provides forensic supervision in child sexual abuse cases in Larimer County, Colorado, and consults with tribal, state, and federal agencies and with nongovernmental organizations in tribal communities on a variety of research issues, including child sexual abuse and related projects. Her current research addresses intersectionality and sexual violence; health disparities; child maltreatment, including drug-endangered children in tribal communities; and Native youth and STD/STI messaging.

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Katherine Chon
01/29/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Implications of Human Trafficking Federal Strategic Action Plan

Katherine Chon is the Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She advises the Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families on strategies, policies, and partnerships to prevent human trafficking and equip victims with the resources they need to escape exploitation and rebuild their lives. Ms. Chon has worked for more than a decade to establish effective housing and victim service programs, analyze trends in human trafficking to inform public policy, and steer strategic partnerships to strengthen community-based responses. She is the cofounder of the Polaris Project, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization combating modern-day slavery. Ms. Chon received a bachelor of sciences degree from Brown University and a master of public administration degree from Harvard Kennedy School. She completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Mitru Ciarlante
Photo of Mitru Ciarlante9/17/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Integrating Research Results Into Victim Services

Mitru Ciarlante is the Director of Child & Club Safety for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), where she works to strengthen the Clubs’ capacity to create safe places for children to learn and grow. Ms. Ciarlante is a lifelong children’s advocate with more than 25 years of leadership experience in creating youth outreach and advocacy programs and policies that are developmentally and culturally appropriate for youth from diverse cultures and backgrounds. She has spoken, trained, and written extensively on a multitude of youth victimization topics, including engaging marginalized youth, providing population-specific services, reaching and serving tribal youth victims, and building resilience in underserved communities exposed to violence.

Previously, as director of the Youth Initiative at the National Center for Victims of Crime, Ms. Ciarlante collaborated with more than 100 community sites on multiple projects supported by the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. These included OVC Action Partnerships such as the Underserved Teen Victims Initiative, in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council; the Effective Providers for Child Victims of Violence initiative, in partnership with the American Psychological Association; a BGCA partnership to help youth development professionals recognize and respond to childhood victimization; and work with the National Council on Black Civic Participation on a project dealing with Black children’s exposure to violence and victimization.

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Loree Cook-Daniels
6/25/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Serving Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Sexual Assault Victims

Loree Cook-Daniels is the Policy and Program Director for FORGE, an organization focused on improving the lives of transgender individuals by building stronger connections, providing resources, and empowering growth through knowledge. Since 2000, Cook-Daniels has helped design and facilitate FORGE’s in-person and virtual support groups, research studies, and programs. Cook-Daniels has been involved in advocacy, research, training, and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations since 1975, focusing primarily on aging, elder abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. 

Cook-Daniels serves on the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s National Policy Roundtable, the National LGBT Aging Roundtable, and the Obama Administration’s New Beginning Initiative to identify pro-LGBT policy changes. Cook-Daniels also cochairs the Policy Committee of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. A contributing editor and frequent author for Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled, Cook-Daniels also is the founder and curator of GrayPrideParade.com, an LGBT aging blog that focuses on policy, practice, and research. Cook-Daniels formerly served on the Leadership Council of the LGBT Aging Issues Network of the American Society on Aging. Cook-Daniels holds bachelor of arts degrees in women’s studies and history, a master of science degree in conflict management, and a post-graduate certificate in trauma counseling. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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David Corwin, M.D.
04/23/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Implications of Adverse Childhood Experiences for Practitioners

David Corwin, M.D., is a Professor in the Pediatrics Department at the University of Utah, where he directs Forensic Services. He also is President of the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA), which is dedicated to increasing health professionals’ knowledge and skills in preventing, recognizing, and intervening with those harmed by violence and abuse. Dr. Corwin is the Executive Producer of AVA’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study DVD, and the principal editor of the online white paper ACEs: Informing Best Practice. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), and cochairs the Society’s Prevention and Partnerships Committees.

Dr. Corwin has lectured and consulted nationally and internationally on child abuse issues. One of his primary focuses is on evaluating, mitigating, and preventing the adverse health effects associated with experiencing violence and abuse across the lifespan. Recently, Dr. Corwin began addressing the harms associated with being a victim of child pornography, and helped draft the APSAC policy statement on that topic.

Previously, Dr. Corwin founded the California Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and helped found the Ray Helfer Society and the Academy on Violence and Abuse. He also chaired the group that founded the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and cochaired the transition of the American Medical Association’s National Advisory Council on Violence and Abuse into the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Dr. Steven Dakai
3/12/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Addressing the Holistic Needs of Crime Victims

Steven Dakai, Ph.D., is Director of Maehnowesekiyah Wellness Center for the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and Program Manager for the Menominee Indian Tribe’s Mental Health Transformation Grant, which focuses on identifying veterans and tribal members living with posttraumatic stress disorder and other effects of trauma and providing them with the counseling they need. He is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist, Interventionist, and Trainer; and a QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) suicide prevention trainer. He also is CEO of Shift Happens International, LLC, a behavioral health consulting firm. Dr. Dakai has spent much of his career working in Native American communities in Alaska and Wisconsin. He is a member of the Tribal/State Collaboration for Positive Change workgroup, and the Diversity Committee and the Treatment and Intervention Committee of the Wisconsin State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. Previously, he worked for the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Dakai holds a doctorate in addictive disorders and substance abuse and certifications in clinical supervision in Wisconsin and nationally. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Rebecca Dreke
01/22/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Responding to Victims of Stalking on Campus

Rebecca Dreke is Deputy Director of the Stalking Resource Center (SRC) at the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC). Ms. Dreke is responsible for training law enforcement, prosecutors, victim service providers, and other professionals on all aspects of stalking, including the use of technology to stalk, campus stalking, and stalking and sexual assault. She has trained thousands of practitioners nationally on various topics, including stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, and hate- and bias-motivated violence. Ms. Dreke also coauthors publications regarding stalking support groups, campus policies for addressing stalking, and guides for advocates. Prior to joining NCVC, Ms. Dreke worked as a social worker, victim advocate, and public school teacher. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Meg Garvin
Photo of Meg Garvin9/17/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Integrating Research Results Into Victim Services

Meg Garvin, M.A., J.D., is the Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute and a clinical professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. She is recognized as an expert on victims’ rights and has testified before Congress and state legislatures on the current status of victim law. In August 2014, Ms. Garvin was appointed to the Victims Advisory Group of the United States Sentencing Commission. During 2013 and 2014, she served on the Victim Services Subcommittee of the Response to Adult Sexual Assault Crime Panel analyzing the military’s response to sexual violence. Ms. Garvin is a board member of SurvJustice, a national nonprofit organization responding to sexual violence on campus, and an advisory board member for the Red Lodge Legal Services Program. Previously, she served as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Victims Committee and as co-chair of the Oregon Attorney General’s Crime Victims’ Rights Enforcement Task Force. She was also a member of the Legislative & Public Policy Committee of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force and on the board of directors for the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Ms. Garvin is the recipient of the 2012 Crime Victims First-Stewart Family Outstanding Community Service Award. She received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, a master of arts degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa, and a juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

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Leila Kawar Goldsmith, J.D.
Photo of Leila Kawar Goldsmith, J.D.11/19/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Forensic Interviewing in Tribal Communities

Leila Kawar Goldsmith, J.D., is a Child Advocacy Coordinator with the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, where she facilitates the Tulalip Multi-Disciplinary Team, addresses child abuse cases, and directs a comprehensive program for child victims of violent crime. Previously, as a teacher in public schools and at a speech and language clinic, Ms. Goldsmith worked with children with learning disabilities and severe emotional disturbances. After attending a teacher training for mandated reporters of child abuse, Ms. Goldsmith was inspired to attend law school with the goal of advocating for children in the criminal justice system. She has since served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, an Attorney Guardian ad Litem, and a Family Law Guardian ad Litem. Ms. Goldsmith received a B.A. from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, a post-Baccalaureate teaching certificate from the University of California-Irvine, and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

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Hazel Heckers
5/28/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Creating an Effective Identity Theft Coalition

Hazel Heckers has served crime victims for more than 25 years, advocating for victims of elder abuse and victims with disabilities and raising awareness of the special needs of individuals caring for grandchildren and other relatives as a result of crime. In 2012, Ms. Heckers founded the Identity Theft Advocacy Network of Colorado (ITAN), a multidisciplinary organization hosted by the Identity Theft and Fraud Unit of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that serves victims of identity theft and fraud. Since joining CBI 3 years ago, Ms. Heckers has assisted more than 3,200 victims of identity theft and conducted 200 identity theft-related trainings for law enforcement. She also has provided advocacy in response to more than 1,700 phone calls to the CBI Theft and Fraud Hotline.

Ms. Heckers provides support and guidance to other agencies and organizations around the country seeking to improve their ability to help these often-underserved victim populations. Previously, Ms. Heckers was a member of the committee that worked to pass Colorado’s At-Risk Adult legislation, which defines crimes against older adults and people with disabilities and provides guidelines for enforcing the law. She also helped write and advocate for law enforcement protocols for responding to cases of caregiver abuse, and facilitated the state’s first Protocol for Response to At-Risk Adults. In 2014, at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony, Ms. Heckers received a National Crime Victim Service Award for her extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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James Henry, MSW, Ph.D.
04/23/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Implications of Adverse Childhood Experiences for Practitioners

James Henry, MSW, Ph.D., is Cofounder and Project Director for the Western Michigan University (WMU) Children's Trauma Assessment Center, an interdisciplinary assessment clinic for abused or traumatized children. He has more than 17 years of experience as a child welfare and protective services worker. Dr. Henry is on the Steering Committee for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and is cochair of the NCTSN Child Welfare Committee. He also serves as cochair of the Kalamazoo Community Mental Health Board.

Dr. Henry is the principal investigator for three grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, a grant from the Administration for Children and Families, and two grants from the federal SAFE START Initiatives for children exposed to violence. He has published more than 20 articles in professional journals and is a coauthor of the book Seeking Justice, which explores models of system intervention in child sexual abuse. Dr. Henry presents nationally and internationally on the traumatic impact of child maltreatment. He has trained more than 50,000 professionals, caregivers, and community members on child maltreatment and trauma-informed practices. Recently, Dr. Henry developed a training for secondary trauma to help service providers understand the impact of secondary trauma, its grief, and building resiliency against it.

Previously, Dr. Henry worked as a professor in WMU's School of Social Work for 15 years, developing and providing trauma-informed instruction for the social work curriculum and teaching courses in child sexual abuse, child welfare, advanced treatment of children, and human behavior. He also served on two national committees of the NCTSN that developed trauma-informed curricula for child welfare workers and resource parents.

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Christine Kieffer
3/26/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Helping Victims of Financial Fraud

Christine Kieffer is Senior Director of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation. She oversees initiatives for equipping underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need for financial success; and works closely with government agencies, regulatory and nonprofit organizations, and investor groups to promote safe, smart investing. Ms. Kieffer also provides strategic oversight of the National Financial Capability Study, which measures the financial capability of adults in the United States. Previously, Ms. Kieffer served as co-executive producer of the documentary Trick$ of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud. She also oversaw the Military Financial Readiness Project, which provides financial information and tools to service members and their families, and supported FINRA’s chairman and CEO on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. Ms. Kieffer received a bachelor of sciences degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Connie Kirkland, MA, NCC
01/22/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Responding to Victims of Stalking on Campus

Connie Kirkland, MA, NCC, is the Director of Student Mental Health and Behavior at Northern Virginia Community College, where she chairs the Threat Assessment Team and manages the College Sexual Assault Services program. Ms. Kirkland has more than 35 years’ experience in crime victim advocacy as a college instructor and a criminal justice researcher and trainer. She is a Certified Trauma Specialist, a National Certified Counselor, and a Certified Law Enforcement Instructor. Previously, she served as the director of Sexual Assault Services at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she provided university-wide education and training, and intervention services for victims of campus sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.

Ms. Kirkland has authored legislative bills, training manuals, and other materials related to crime victim issues, with a focus on violence against women. Since 2001, she has served as the Consulting Editor of Campus Safety & Security: Forms, Checklists & Guidelines. Ms. Kirkland also has written chapters for several publications, including "Violence Against Women," in Olds’ Maternal-Newborn Nursing and Women’s Health Across the Lifespan, 9th ed.; and "Program Case Study: Campus-Based Sexual Assault Services—On the Cutting Edge," in Restorative Justice on the College Campus. She also is the author of the OVW bulletin, Campus Stalking, and the coauthor of "Responding to Sexually Victimized College Students," a chapter in Understanding and Preventing Campus Violence.

Ms. Kirkland is a member of the faculty and the curriculum committee of the Clery Center for Security on Campus, which provides [Jeanne] Clery Act Compliance Training. She also is an appointed member of the Virginia Attorney General’s Advisory Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; the Virginia Sexual Violence Strategic Planning Team; the NCAA Think Tank on Campus Interpersonal Violence; and the Advisory Council of VTV Family Outreach Foundation, which was created following the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech University. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Ilse Knecht
9/10/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Working With Victims in Cold Hit DNA Cases

Ilse Knecht is the Deputy Director of Public Policy for the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC). For the past 5 years, she has also served as Project Manager for NCVC’s multiyear DNA education initiative. Ms. Knecht has 15 years’ experience in the victim services field and has served on several advisory committees for projects related to sexual assault, forensic exams, and sexual assault response teams. For the past 3 years, she has been the Project Manager for an Office on Violence Against Women grant to ensure a victim-centered response to the problem of backlogged and untested sexual assault kits (SAK). The goal of the project was to give communities the tools they need to create a victim-sensitive approach to SAK backlog reduction. Ms Knecht has authored several brochures about the use of DNA in the criminal justice system, including one specifically focused on notifying crime victims in cold hit cases and another exploring sexual assault kit testing issues. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Sally Laskey
4/15/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: CACs and SARTs Partnering for Sexual Violence Victims

4/07/2006 online discussion cohost
Topic: Assisting Victims of Sexual Assault Through a Multidisciplinary Response

Sally Laskey is Director of Special Projects for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. She has worked for social change at local, state, and national levels for more than 20 years. Ms. Laskey manages several national technical assistance and training projects related to strengthening prevention and advocacy for sexual assault victims and building effective and sustainable multidisciplinary responses to sexual assault. Ms. Laskey received a bachelor of sociology degree from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in community psychology and social change from Pennsylvania State University.

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Michele Mallin
9/10/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Working With Victims in Cold Hit DNA Cases

Michele Mallin is a survivor of a rape committed in 1985 in Lubbock, Texas, for which the wrong man was tried and convicted. Although the true perpetrator confessed to the crime in 1995, the confession was ignored until 2008, when the wrongful conviction was confirmed through DNA testing. Since 2008, Ms. Mallin has spoken at venues and conferences throughout the country regarding the need for DNA testing and changes in laws regarding witness identification reform and the use of proper police procedures. Ms. Mallin received a bachelor of science degree in fitness and human performance from the University of Houston–Clear Lake. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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michael munson
6/25/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Serving Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Sexual Assault Victims

michael munson is the cofounder and Executive Director of FORGE, an organization focused on improving the lives of transgender individuals by building stronger connections, providing resources, and empowering growth through knowledge. munson has been active within the transgender/SOFFA (significant others, friends, families, and allies) community since 1994. munson is a long-time political activist, speaking out against social injustice within the transgender/SOFFA community and beyond, and attentively and compassionately listening to those whose voices often remain unheard.

munson’s work on violence against transgender and gender non-conforming individuals stresses the intersectionality of the complex components of identity, experience, and societal constructs. munson participates on multiple local and national advisory committees to ensure that the needs of transgender survivors are heard and addressed. munson also has authored numerous publications for service providers and allied professionals, including “Creating a Trans‐Welcoming Environment: A Tips Sheet for Sexual Assault Service Providers,” and “Quick Tips for Caregivers of Transgender Clients." munson earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and women’s studies from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), with graduate course work in trauma counseling. While at UWM, Munson worked as a research assistant in the Departments of Psychology and Nursing. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Chris Newlin, M.S., L.P.C.
4/15/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: CACs and SARTs Partnering for Sexual Violence Victims

Chris Newlin, M.S., L.P.C., is Executive Director of the National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC), which provides child abuse prevention and intervention services in Huntsville/Madison County, Alabama, and houses the NCAC National Training Center, the Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center, and the Child Abuse Library Online. Mr. Newlin also participates in national and international training, technical assistance, and leadership activities related to protecting children and establishing new Children’s Advocacy Centers.

Mr. Newlin serves on the Board of Directors for the National Children's Alliance, the Interdisciplinary Review Team for the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Child & Club Safety Task Force, the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center’s Research Institute Advisory Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Alabama Network of Children's Advocacy Centers. He also is a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. Mr. Newlin was the 2010 recipient of the Hendrix College Odyssey Medal for Service to the World, and the 2010 recipient of the International Impact Award from the International Services Council of Alabama.

Previously, Mr. Newlin served as cochair of the Child Protection Working Group of the United States—Russia Civil Society Partnership Program. He also served on the Child Protection Workgroup of the United States—Russia Bi-Lateral Presidential Commission. Mr. Newlin graduated from Hendrix College, the University of Central Arkansas, and the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Merry O’Brien, MSW
5/28/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Creating an Effective Identity Theft Coalition

Merry O'Brien, MSW, coordinates the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network, which works to expand and improve the outreach and capacity of victim service programs to better address the rights and needs of victims of identity theft nationwide by building the field’s capacity to provide a coordinated response to the problem. Ms. O'Brien has been involved in many other aspects of the victims' rights and services field, including administering grant awards, providing fiscal and programmatic oversight and training to grantees, developing program capacity, coordinating coalitions, training staff and volunteers, writing grants, and managing projects. Previously, Ms. O'Brien served as project director for Helping Outreach Programs to Expand (HOPE) II grants to victim service programs, hosted the 2010 National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims Public Forum, and chaired the PEACE Coalition, a multidisciplinary group in Maryland dedicated to preventing and responding to victims of elder abuse. Ms. O’Brien received a master of social work degree from the University of Michigan, where she also received the Geriatric Scholars Award. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Amanda Pyron
7/16/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Crime Victim Considerations for Parole Professionals

Amanda Pyron is the Supervisory Victims Coordinator at the United States Parole Commission. She directs the commission’s victims support program, which encourages crime victims to exercise their right to participate in the parole and supervised release processes by notifying them of hearing and release dates, facilitating victim participation in the hearing and release processes, advocating on behalf of crime victims, and providing referrals to supportive services. She also serves on the board of the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A licensed social worker, Ms. Pyron was previously the coordinator of a domestic violence shelter for families in Washington, D.C. 

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Steven Siegel
Photo of Steven Siegel10/15/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Responding to and Avoiding Crime Using Technology

Steven Siegel is the Director of the Special Programs Unit of the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Throughout his 36-year career, he has been a catalyst for the development of interagency protocols that have been replicated nationwide on issues including domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and the victimization of elderly and disabled individuals. Mr. Siegel has been integral to the development and operation of such programs as the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance, the DNA Cold Case Project, the Colorado Justice Review Project, and the Victim Services Network.

Mr. Siegel served as director of program development for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, and as administrator of the Denver Victim Assistance Law and Enforcement Board for more than 20 years. He also served on the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime’s National Consortium Board, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Global Justice Information Technology Task Force. Mr. Siegel has provided consultation services and training for several organizations, including the National Organization for Victim Assistance, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the National Victim Assistance Academy.  He has presented and been published nationally and internationally on the subject of family violence, criminal victimization, community intervention, and non-profit development and management. Mr. Siegel is the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2006 National Crime Victims’ Service Award.

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Cindy Southworth
Photo of Cindy Southworth10/15/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Responding to and Avoiding Crime Using Technology

Cindy Southworth is the Vice President of Development and Innovation at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), where she leads the network’s communications, development, technology, and international efforts. Ms. Southworth joined NNEDV in 2002, when she founded the Safety Net Project to address all aspects of technology as it relates to violence against women. The Safety Net Team works with private industry, state and federal agencies, and international groups to improve safety and privacy for victims in the digital age; and is one of five organizations on the Facebook Safety Advisory Board. Ms. Southworth is on the advisory boards of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference, and MTV’s A Thin Line campaign to stop digital abuse. She also is a member of the Airbnb Trust Advisory Board.

For 24 years, Ms. Southworth has worked at the national, state, and local levels to end violence against women. She has spent the past 16 years focusing on how technology can be used to increase victim safety and how to hold stalkers accountable for their misuse of technology. Ms. Southworth has testified before Congress and is on many task forces and committees that address justice, privacy, technology, and safety. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of New England.

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Jennifer Stith
2/25/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Serving Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Jennifer Stith is Executive Director of WINGS Foundation, Inc., an organization in Denver, Colorado, that provides education, advocacy, and support to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and their loved ones. Ms. Stith works with partners in the domestic violence, sexual assault, child advocacy, and health care fields to increase awareness about the need to address CSA-related trauma in adult survivors’' lives in order to restore their overall health, well-being, and ability to thrive. She also helped plan the organization’s first conference focused on healing for adult survivors of CSA, in partnership with the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect in Aurora, Colorado, which will be held again this year. Ms. Stith recently copublished the two-part article "What Are You Afraid to Miss?" in Louisville Medicine, the journal of the Greater Louisville Medical Society, highlighting childhood sexual abuse as a public health pandemic affecting both pediatric and adult populations.

Ms. Stith has 13 years' experience in nonprofit leadership and development, primarily in pediatric health care. The challenges she encountered in accessing services to heal from her own experience of CSA trauma as an adult led her to pursue a master's degree in women’s and gender studies at the University of Louisville and, later, a graduate assistantship with its Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research. She also earned a certificate in Jungian studies/analytical psychotherapy at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Ms. Stith holds a master of arts degree in teaching from Bellarmine University in Louisville, and a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Western Kentucky University. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Sheri Vanino, PsyD
2/25/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Serving Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Sheri Vanino is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in working with victims of trauma and sexual assault. In addition to her private therapy practice, Dr. Vanino provides psychological assessments for the Lutheran Hospital Emergency Department in Denver, Colorado. She also provides expert testimony on sexual assault cases and provides training both locally and nationally on the topics of sexual assault and trauma. From 2004 to 2007, Dr. Vanino served as Director of Victim Services and Counseling Director for the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program in Colorado. Previously, she worked as an advocate for the Colorado Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office and as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver. Ms. Vanino also helped cofound the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center and Victim Justice, both in Colorado. Dr. Vanino earned a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University in California and a master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Denver. View this Guest Host's photograph.

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Corey Walz
01/29/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Implications of Human Trafficking Federal Strategic Action Plan

Corey Walz is the Special Assistant to the Chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking. In this role, Mr. Walz is helping to update the Blue Campaign Web site and promotional materials. He also led a team of special assistants in the latest iteration of the Joint Stakeholder Engagement Event with the Council on Combating Violence Against Women. Mr. Walz cochairs the Strategic Action Plan on Services to Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mr. Walz previously served as a program analyst with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Grant Program Directorate, where he managed grants for the Homeland Security Grant Program for his assigned states. He also worked as a senior program analyst at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Mr. Walz received a master of sciences degree in international affairs and a bachelor of sciences degree in criminology and criminal justice from Florida State University.

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Lydia Watts, Esq.
3/12/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Addressing the Holistic Needs of Crime Victims

Lydia Watts, Esq., is the Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, which works to address barriers to the justice system that low- and moderate-income people face in Washington, D.C. She also is Principal of Greater Good Consulting in Massachusetts, which specializes in not-for-profit organizations. Ms. Watts is the founding Board Chair of the Network for Victim Recovery of DC, a provider of holistic services for victims of crime in the District, and a founding board member of Amy’s Treat, a not-for-profit foundation that benefits cancer patients at the Seacoast Cancer Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is also on the board of directors of the District Alliance for Safe Housing and Mentoring Today, also in D.C.

Ms. Watts is the cofounder and former executive director of Washington, D.C.’s Women Empowered Against Violence, Inc. (WEAVE), which provides an innovative range of services to the city’s teen and adult victims of domestic violence. She previously served as director of quality and program enhancement for the Civil Division of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, a national association of legal service providers and public defenders who offer their services at no charge to those in need. She also served as executive director of the Victim Rights Law Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. Ms. Watts graduated from American University’s Washington College of Law and received a bachelor of English degree from Boston University. View this Guest Host’s photograph.

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Carl Wicklund
7/16/2014 online discussion cohost
Topic: Crime Victim Considerations for Parole Professionals

Carl Wicklund is the Executive Director of the American Probation and Parole Association. He has more than 40 years’ experience in the corrections and human services field. He has developed and managed a variety of community-based, private-sector programs for juveniles and adults involved with the justice or social services systems. He also has administered more than 100 federally funded grants or cooperative agreements. Mr. Wicklund leads, serves on, or has served on numerous advisory groups, including the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Attorney General), for which he is the vice chair and previous chair of the Privacy and Information Quality Working Group. Previously, he served as the director of a three-county adult and juvenile probation and parole department, and as a volunteer counselor at the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mr. Wicklund has received the Gisela Konopka Award from the Minnesota Citizens Council on Crime and Justice, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Community Corrections Association, the Allied Professional Award from the U.S. Congressional Crime Victims’ Rights Caucus, and the Justice Leadership Award from Family Justice in New York. View this Guest Host’s photograph.

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