Leading Justice Reformer Courtney Bryan to Head Center for Court Innovation

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Courtney Bryan

Courtney Bryan. Photo by Samiha Amin Meah

Courtney Bryan, executive director at the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation, will be the first woman to lead the Center for Court Innovation since its founding in 1996.

Bryan will take over the Center, one of the nation’s leading justice reform organizations, on March 16. She succeeds Greg Berman, who is resigning but will remain a member of the board.

The Center said Bryan’s commitment to criminal justice reform and community change led to her selection after a nationwide search led by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

As executive director at the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation, which pursues economic growth in communities, Bryan helped launch the foundation’s Second Chance Opportunities initiative to support greater economic prospects for people with criminal backgrounds.

Bryan has served in leadership roles at the center, most recently as a member of its advisory board. As the Center’s new leader, she will oversee an annual budget of more than $80 million and 580 employees.

Over more than a decade, Bryan was director of the Midtown Community Court and worked with reformers across the U.S. to promote new responses to human trafficking and domestic violence. She was staff director for the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, which successfully argued for closing the jails on Rikers Island.

Bryan worked as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn and as an attorney at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Temple University School of Law.

Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the State of New York, said, “I’m excited to welcome Courtney Bryan back to the Center for Court Innovation. Ms. Bryan has served in key leadership roles in the nonprofit and criminal justice sectors and brings to the Center a bold problem-solving approach and extensive experience as a criminal justice practitioner and policymaker, including stellar service as director of the Midtown Community Court.”

Departing center director Berman said Bryan “is the ideal person to lead the Center for Court Innovation into the next decade. She has the talent, drive, and organizational skill to manage an agency that is achieving systemic change in New York and advancing justice reform around the world.”

Karol Mason, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Bryan “recognizes the intersections between law and social problems, and she uses smart, problem-solving approaches to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities.”

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