Former NYS DCJS Commissioner Denise O’Donnell to head the Bureau of Justice Assistance
President Obama has nominated former New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Denise E. O’Donnell to lead the U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance. During Ms. O’Donnell’s tenure at DCJS she oversaw the development of the state’s reentry plan, including the development of County Reentry Task Force programs. Below is the text from the White House press release.
Denise E. O’Donnell recently served as New York State Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, where she oversaw 11 homeland security and criminal justice agencies with a combined annual budget of $4.7 billion. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. O’Donnell served as Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, where she managed several crime reduction efforts, including the collection and analysis of crime data, criminal background investigations, juvenile justice, and the administration of state and federal criminal justice grants. Prior to her appointment, Ms. O’Donnell was a litigation partner at Hodgson Russ, LLP. During the Clinton Administration, she was appointed as United States Attorney for the Western District of New York (1997-2001). Ms. O’Donnell joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District in 1985 as a prosecutor and was later promoted to First Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1993. Earlier in her career, she served as a law clerk to the late Justice M. Dolores Denman of the New York Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Ms. O’Donnell is currently active on various legal and professional organizations, including the New York State Justice Task Force, the Criminal Justice Council of the New York City Bar Association, and the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association. She has lectured at the SUNY Buffalo School of Law and with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Education. Ms. O’Donnell holds a B.A. from Canisius College and an M.S.W and J.D., summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo.