Acting Director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
Tracey Trautman currently serves as the Acting Director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Office of Justice Programs. She is also assigned as the Deputy Director for the Programs Office within in the Bureau of Justice Assistance. In this capacity, she provides oversight for all grants management activity within BJA, including application review, award processing, liaison with grantees, performance measurement and programmatic grant monitoring. BJA awards approximately 1,500 new grants each year, while managing a portfolio of almost 4,000 open and active grants worth approximately $2 billion dollars. She also manages the development and execution of all formula grants and payment programs within BJA, including OJP’s flagship program, the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG). Prior to her position at DOJ, Ms. Trautman worked at the Department of Homeland Security’s Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) as the Deputy Assistant Administrator, with responsibility for the oversight of all programmatic and financial activities for the DHS/FEMA preparedness grant programs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from North Dakota State University, a Masters of Public Administration from George Mason University in Virginia and a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Deputy Director for Policy, BJA
Kristen Mahoney was sworn in as the new BJA Deputy Director for Policy on July 9, 2012. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention for the State of Maryland and as President of the National Criminal Justice Association. She is a longtime friend of BJA and a champion of state, local, and tribal efforts to improve criminal justice in communities across the country. She brings tremendous knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to her new position. Ms. Mahoney has also worked with staff in BJA’s Programs, Planning, and Policy Offices for a number of years, and she understands the importance of BJA’s work to the communities we serve. She has also served as Chief of the Technical Services Division of the Baltimore Police Department, as a Senior Policy Advisor in the COPS Office, and as the State Administrative Agent for Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds for many years.
Associate Deputy Director, BJA
Cornelia Sigworth currently serves as the Associate Deputy Director with the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, a post she has held since July 2014. In this capacity, Ms. Sigworth directs the BJA’s law enforcement team including its partnerships with local, state, and national policymakers and their efforts to combat crime and reform the criminal justice system. Ms. Sigworth previously served in a variety of capacities within BJA including most recently as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director for Policy and Director of the Violence Reduction Network. Ms. Sigworth began her career with The Department at the National Institute of Justice, where she managed national research, evaluation, and program development.
Ms. Sigworth holds a bachelor degree from Northern Arizona University and a M.S. in Justice, Law, and Society from American University. She is a graduate of the Department of Justice’s Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program and among other honors, is a recipient of the Assistant Attorney General’s Dedicated Service Award.
Senior Policy Advisor, BJA
Tammy Brown brings 20 years of experience in the criminal justice system to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) as a Senior Policy Advisor. She overseeing several projects related to law enforcement and prosecution include the Crime Gun Intelligence Centers, Improving Investigations, Addressing Witness Intimidation, Developing Best Practices in Prosecution and Improving Homicide Clearance Rates.
Before coming to BJA she served as the Chief of External Affairs for the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, where she was responsible for Community Affairs, Victim Services, Prevention Programming, Communication, Grants, Legislation and Policy for the office. In that capacity she served as the frontline to the community and spearheads initiatives to help reform the criminal justice system.
Prior she served as Governor Martin O’Malley’s Executive Director for the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, where she advised the Governor on criminal justice issues and was oversaw the administration of over $100 million in federal and state grant funds. She was also responsible for the coordination and collaboration with public safety agencies at the local, state and federal levels to develop and implement effective strategies and tactics that have led to historic lows in violent crime in Maryland. In this position she lead criminal justice reform in the areas of pretrial, gun laws, death penalty, re-entry, human trafficking, domestic violence, diversion and juvenile justice.
She also served as Staff of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS). While at DJS, Tammy was instrumental in case management reforms including the implementation of the Violence Prevention Initiative. Prior to her Chief of Staff role, Tammy served as Director of Communications, where she spearheaded increased levels of information sharing with law enforcement. She helped pass legislation to allow juvenile information to be shared with system counterparts in the District of Columbia.
Training and Technical Assistance Partner:
APA Project Staff
Smart Prosecution Director, APA
Beth Merachnik serves as the Director for Smart Prosecution and the Victim Services Division at APA. Smart Prosecution provides national training and technical assistance for prosecutors, to support and enhance criminal justice initiatives and promote public safety. Ms. Merachnik is a former prosecutor from Massachusetts having served for over twenty years in both the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General. Ms. Merachnik prosecuted a wide variety of cases during her career at the District Attorney’s office, including crimes of homicide, sexual assault and child abuse. For over four years, Ms. Merachnik held the position Director of the Middlesex Domestic Violence in which she was responsible for implementing policy and program development, preparing training programs, facilitating community outreach and designing strategies for prosecution and victim safety.
Ms. Merachnik served at the Office of the Attorney General, first as the Chief of the Community-Based Justice Bureau. The bureau was dedicated to developing programs and policies, devising strategies, drafting legislation and providing training in the areas of family violence, child protection, juvenile justice and community safety. Following this, Ms. Merachnik served as Senior Counsel and Trial Attorney in the Criminal Bureau, prosecuting financial crime, public corruption and computer crime. Ms. Merachnik served on the Governor’s Commission for Sexual and Domestic Violence where she was co-chair of the legislative sub-committee.
Project Attorney, APA
Margo Badawy is a Project Attorney for the Smart Prosecution project at APA.
As an Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. territory of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Ms. Badawy worked in the Special Victims Unit where she prosecuted sexual assault, incest, child abuse, homicide, and burglary cases.
Ms. Badawy began her legal career as a Presidential Management Fellow with the United States Department of Health and Human Services where she worked on policy at the Office of Child Support Enforcement. She also worked as an attorney with for the Disability Rights Center for the Virgin Islands, where she represented clients and conducted legal trainings centered on civil rights.
Ms. Badawy graduated magna cum laude from The Pennsylvania State University's Schreyer's Honors College and graduated cum laude from the University at Buffalo Law School.
Project Associate, APA
Kristi Barksdale serves as the Project Associate for the Smart Prosecution project. Ms. Barksdale holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. She came to APA from a small government consulting firm in Virginia where she planned government meetings and was the staff liaison for the National Commission on Forensic Science. Her background includes extensive experience in event coordination, planning and administration.
Director of Communications
Angel Tucker is the Director of Communications for APA. Her background includes over 16 years of extensive experience in communications, graphic design, web design, event coordination and administration. She launched a web and graphic design company in 2008 that maintained the graphic portfolio for shopping malls, radio personalities and multiple non-profit organizations. She also served as a Business Consultant and Communications Advisor for several small companies.
Angel obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Loyola University Maryland. After which she obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Communications Design from the University of Baltimore. In her endeavors, she has also served in many community oriented positions including as vice-president for a national youth organization, president of a local youth outreach group and founding member of a Non-profit homeless assistance organization.
Promoting the Partnership Between Prosecutors and Researchers to Develop and Deliver Effective, Data-Driven, Evidence-based Strategies to Solve Chronic Problems and Fight Crime.