Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice
Elizabeth Glazer is the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. In that role, she serves as the senior criminal justice policy advisor to the Mayor and First Deputy Mayor. Ms. Glazer oversees citywide criminal justice policy and develops and implements strategies across city agencies and partners to enhance public safety, reduce unnecessary incarceration, and increase fairness. Previously, Ms. Glazer served as the Secretary for Public Safety to NYS Governor Cuomo, where she was responsible for the oversight and management of eight state agencies, including Corrections, Parole, State Police and National Guard. Ms. Glazer has also held a variety of leadership positions at the local, state and federal levels, including the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York where she pioneered the use of the racketeering laws to address the violent gang problem. Ms. Glazer received her B.A. from Harvard University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. She clerked for then-US Circuit Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Karen Shaer is the First Deputy Director. Ms. Shaer began her legal career at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, worked as a criminal defense attorney at the law firm Lankler Siffert & Wohl, and then served eight years as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York where she held the position of Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and sat on the US Attorney’s Executive Committee, the management and policy making body of the office. She focused on cases involving public corruption, narcotics, financial fraud and violent crimes, including gun trafficking and gang violence. Following her service as a federal prosecutor, Ms. Shaer became the Executive and General Counsel of two companies, advising CEOs and Boards, overseeing legal departments, anchoring compliance and fraud prevention teams (with a focus on privacy and data protection issues), managing a Diversity and Inclusion Program, and running numerous multi-million dollar victim remediation programs, many of which she procured through an active business development role. As the Managing Director of one of these companies, Garden City Group, she launched a multi-million dollar business division specializing in corporate reorganizations. Ms. Shaer received her B.A. from Yale and her J.D. from Columbia.
Michele Sviridoff is the Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator Emeritus for Research and Planning, after having served in that role from 2002 to 2016. Her work focuses on criminal and juvenile justice system analysis. Ms. Sviridoff came to the city from the Center for Court Innovation, where she served as Deputy Director. Before that, Ms. Sviridoff was a Senior Research Associate at the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University and at the Vera Institute of Justice. Ms. Sviridoff is a graduate of Smith College and holds an M.Phil. from Yale University. Ms. Sviridoff is the author of Dispensing Justice Locally, a book about the implementation and effects of the Midtown Community Court.
Tina Chiu is the Deputy Director for Performance Management. Prior to joining the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, she was the deputy director for performance management in the New York City Mayor's Office of Operations, where she oversaw the production of the City Charter-mandated Mayor's Management Report and launched the City's HOME-STAT street homelessness initiative. Ms. Chiu worked for fourteen years at the Vera Institute of Justice, serving as the director of technical assistance and building a portfolio of cost-benefit analysis projects. Ms. Chiu received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Annapolis, MD; an M.A. in the Conceptual Foundations of Science from the University of Chicago; and an M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
Osvaldo Cruz is the Chief Financial Officer. His career in public service began at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management & Budget where he spent almost a decade. Starting as an Analyst he rose through the ranks to hold the position of Assistant Director of the Administration of Justice Taskforce. In that capacity he was responsible for the development and administration of the New York City Criminal Justice System’s Operating and Capital Budgets including the New York City Police and Correction Departments and the Court Facilities Capital Construction Plan. Following his service at OMB he joined the MTA’s Long Island Rail Road. There he was responsible for the administration of the agency’s operating and revenue budgets, managed the agency’s fare policy implementation process, and directed the agency’s corporate performance management program, international benchmarking efforts, and Information Technology strategic planning. Mr. Cruz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from John Jay College.
Eric Cumberbatch is the Executive Director of the Office to Prevent Gun Violence. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Cumberbatch began his career as a teacher with the New York City Department of Education and has also held several positions at the New York City Housing Authority. Mr. Cumberbatch holds a Master’s Degree in Education from NW Missouri State University and a Bachelor of Science from Delaware State University.
Dana Kaplan is the Executive Director of Youth and Strategic Initiatives. Previously, Ms. Kaplan was the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, a New Orleans based non-profit legal and advocacy organization. Ms. Kaplan has also been a Soros Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), was the State-wide Organizer for the New York Campaign for Telephone Justice, and worked for the Brooklyn-based Prison Moratorium Project. Ms. Kaplan holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s from the CUNY Graduate Center with a certificate in American Studies.
Patrick Gallahue is the Senior Press Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Mr. Gallahue worked as a reporter in New York City for seven years and went on to hold communications and advocacy roles with Harm Reduction International, Open Society Foundations, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut and the Connecticut Secretary of State. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, and an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Erin Pilnyak is the Deputy Director of Crime Strategies. Prior to becoming the Deputy Director of Crime Strategies, Erin served as the Executive Director of Justice Operations at MOCJ, where she primarily focused on reducing delays in the resolution of felony cases along with other public safety initiatives. Erin joined MOCJ after working for nine and half years as an Assistant District Attorney at the New York County District Attorney's Office (DANY). She was in the DANY Trial Division for approximately seven years, prosecuting sex crimes, violent felony crimes, human trafficking crimes, and assisting with homicide investigations. For the last two years, she was part of DANY's Crime Strategies Unit, devising strategies to reduce crime in Manhattan. Erin holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley and a JD from Cornell Law School.
Colin Reilly is the Executive Director of Information Technology. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, he was the Senior Director of Geographic Information Systems at the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. In this role, he supervised staff, managed technology projects, spearheaded enterprise data management efforts and advised on geospatial technology matters. Mr. Reilly holds a Master’s Degree in Geography from Hunter College and a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona.
Marcos Gonzalez Soler is the Chief of Staff. Prior to his current position, Mr. Soler was the deputy executive director for policy and strategic initiatives at the Civilian Complaint Review Board, where he worked closely with the board in conceptualizing and implementing major initiatives at the CCRB. Mr. Soler is also a senior advisor to the federal monitor of the Puerto Rico Police Department and an adjunct faculty member of both the political science and public management departments at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Mr. Soler holds a Master of Public Policy and a Ph.D. in politics from The New School University, in addition to graduate and law degrees earned in Europe.
Amy Sananman is the Senior Strategy Advisor at the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Mayor's Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety and-prior to joining MOCJ-was the founding Executive Director of Groundswell, NYC's leading nonprofit for using public art as a tool for social change. During her tenure, Groundswell engaged tens of thousands of teens and hundreds of community groups to transform physical spaces across the five boroughs. Prior to Groundswell, Ms. Sananman's experience includes tenant organizing and affordable housing development. Ms. Sananman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.
Susan Sommer is the General Counsel. After working as the Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national civil rights organization advocating for those who are LGBT and living with HIV. At Lambda Legal, she led its efforts to achieve marriage equality and parenting rights for LGBT New Yorkers and was Lambda Legal's lead counsel in Obergefell v. Hodges, winning the right to marry for same-sex couples nationwide. Ms. Sommer supervised attorneys and staff and worked on the full range of the organization's litigation, public policy, and advocacy issues, including supervision of the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project and the Transgender Rights Project. Ms. Sommer also litigated cases involving the criminal justice system and the civil rights of LGBT police officers. Prior to joining Lambda Legal, she was a partner at Lankler Siffert & Wohl, a New York criminal defense and civil litigation firm, and earlier worked as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Ms. Sommer clerked for Federal District Court Judge William Schwarzer (N.D. Cal.), and received a B.A. from Yale College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Brenda Velazquez is the Executive Director of Research Operations. Prior to joining the Mayor's Office, she was at the Bronx District Attorney's Office, in the position of Director of the Planning and Analysis Unit. In this role, Dr. Velazquez served as an advisor to the D.A. and the Executive Staff on grant programs and NYC initiatives, as well as on research methods and data analytics. She strategized with various law enforcement, government agencies, service providers, and research organizations around criminal justice issues, and related task forces and coalitions. Prior to her work in the Bronx, Dr. Velazquez worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she was a principal investigator and project manager for qualitative and quantitative studies that examined the juvenile justice system and racial disparities in prosecutorial decision-making. Dr. Velazquez received a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University, and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Social Ecology and Criminology respectively, from the University of California, Irvine.
Jamison Blair is the Agency Chief Contracting Officer. Mr. Blair is responsible for overseeing the contract unit, which includes everything from solicitations to contract management. Prior to joining MOCJ, he was a Senior Associate of Government Affairs at CleanEdison, a green education and training company, where he managed compliance and developed city, state, and federal grant proposals. Mr. Blair holds a J.D. from Albany Law School.
Renita Francoisis the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. Ms. Francois previously served as the deputy director for three years, developing innovative strategies, like NeighborhoodStat, that bring government and citizens together to address quality of life and safety in NYC’s public housing developments and surrounding neighborhoods. Her experience serving as a resource coordinator working directly for the juvenile justice bench at Brooklyn Family Court, and as a frontline staff member for public housing programs in both Los Angeles and Compton, California, give Ms. Francois unique insight into the multilayered challenges facing vulnerable communities. Renita Francois holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Cornell University.
Tamara Greenfield is the Program Director of Building Healthy Communities. During her eight years as Executive Director of Fourth Arts Block (FAB), Ms. Greenfield expanded membership to 28 small cultural groups on the Lower East Side, helped leverage over $25 million in capital funds, and led innovative programs focused on neighborhood sustainability and resource sharing. She also founded and co-directed Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts New York, a citywide coalition of arts and community organizations. Prior to FAB, Ms. Greenfield led Partnerships for Parks’ Catalyst Program, revitalizing 16 parks in four neighborhoods. She received her Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College and Bachelor of Arts in Art History and International Development from Washington University in St. Louis.
Diana Gutierrez is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Gutierrez oversees budgets and expense operations, and manages the contract, fiscal, grants and compliance units. Prior to joining MOCJ, she served in a compliance capacity for grants and contracts in the government and private sector. Ms. Gutierrez graduated from St. John’s University with both a Bachelor of Science and Master's of Professional Studies in Criminal Justice. She is currently a J.D. candidate at New York Law School.
Christian J. Klossner is the Executive Director of the Office of Special Enforcement. He previously served for over five years as the deputy director of the District of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints (OPC), where he oversaw the agency’s investigative, adjudication, mediation, outreach, and administrative activities. Prior to joining OPC, he worked as an assistant district attorney in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor of New York City and the Office of the Bronx District Attorney. He also served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at his alma mater, Fordham University School of Law. Before earning his J.D. from Fordham, Mr. Klossner worked as a campaign organizer, lobbyist, and staff supervisor with the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Jessica Mofield is the Deputy Director of Community Engagement. Prior to joining MOCJ, Ms. Mofield worked at Counseling Service of Eastern District of New York, where she served as a Substance Abuse Clinician and coordinated clients from ACS and federal probation. She earned a Master’s degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University. Ms Mofield also holds a license as a LMHC and received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia State University.
Miriam Popper is the Program Director of alternatives to detention and incarceration. Before joining MOCJ, Ms. Popper worked with the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) at John Jay College, assisting with the oversight and implementation of the New York City Justice Corps, a reentry initiative aimed at reducing poverty and recidivism among young men and women ages 18-24. Ms. Popper graduated from Skidmore College with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Law and Society, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Science in Criminology.
Nicole Torres is the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to joining MOCJ, Ms. Torres was a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice in Manhattan. Before law school, she served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Commissioner of Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Ms. Torres also worked as a youth organizer for the Children’s Defense Fund in New York, where she led youth policy trainings and lobbying mobilizations to Albany and Washington, D.C. Ms. Torres is a graduate of the CUNY School of Law and Barnard College at Columbia University.
Catherine Wan is the Deputy Director of the Office of Special Enforcement. Prior to joining OSE, Ms. Wan served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she litigated employment discrimination cases and coordinated investigations. Prior to that, she worked as the chief of the civil clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, where she managed support staff, litigation resources and electronic data tracking for the civil division. Ms. Wan has also worked as an attorney in several community-based law firms representing clients in various civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings. Ms. Wan received her Bachelor of Law from National Taipei University and her Master of Law from Yeshiva University.