Portrait of NIJ Directory Nancy Rodriguez

Nancy Rodriguez, NIJ Director (Biography)

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The NIJ Director

The Director is appointed by the President to lead the National Institute of Justice and establish the agency's objectives, guided by the needs of the field and the priorities of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The current Director, Nancy Rodriguez, was sworn in on February 9, 2015.

Director's Corner

On this page you can follow NIJ Directors through their speeches and commentary.

October 12, 2015 — New Research Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2015

One of NIJ’s most crucial tasks as a science agency is making decisions about which research proposals to fund. I’m pleased to report that for fiscal year 2015, NIJ made over $156 million in grant awards to more than 210 research projects. These awards reflect NIJ’s commitment to funding rigorous research that helps practitioners and policymakers make criminal justice decisions based on sound scientific evidence. Read the complete message on fiscal year 2015 awards.

October 1, 2015 — Statement on Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of NIJ

On behalf of the Office for Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the National Institute of Justice, I wish to thank the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) for providing NIJ with such an insightful and thoughtful report. We appreciate the Committee's time and effort in producing this assessment.

NIJ commissioned the report to help us monitor our progress in addressing the challenges facing the forensic science community and NIJ’s role in bolstering the forensic sciences research infrastructure that were both outlined in the 2009 report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, and the 2010 report, Strengthening the National Institute of Justice. Read the complete statement.

September 21, 2015 — Building Our Next Generation of Researchers

As colleges and universities across the country begin a new academic year, I want to discuss one of my high-priority goals — supporting the research activities of new and emerging scholars. These creative thinkers from a variety of disciplines are proposing innovative ideas to study and solve criminal justice problems. I am proud to offer my support in the form of fellowships and research assistantships.

This year, NIJ is taking full advantage of our long-standing fellowship programs as well as several newer ones. We are supporting a record number of fellowships this year: 32 in all. Plus we are supporting seven research assistants. Read the complete message on NIJ's fellowship and research assistantship programs.

August 30, 2015 —Body-Worn Cameras: Investigating and Evaluating Their Use by Police

I recently discussed NIJ’s research on the use of body-worn cameras in a short video about the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s body-worn camera toolkit. Because this technology has been front and center in the national discussion, I thought it was important for me to remind viewers that, to date, there has been little scientific research to help law enforcement executives and other officials decide whether and how to implement the use of body-worn cameras. Read the full post and watch a video.

August 10, 2015 —Strengthening Forensic Science at Its Foundations to Improve Public Safety  

With National Forensic Science Week beginning on August 9, I can’t think of a better time to highlight the importance of NIJ’s investment in forensic science research and how that investment is improving our criminal justice system.

Since 2009, NIJ has supported forensic research with more than $127 million. That makes us a global leader in the advancement of forensic science. Read the full post.

July 27, 2015Making Change Happen in Policing

I was honored earlier this month to serve on a panel discussion sponsored by CNA about the changing role of policing, entitled: “Making Change Happen—What Must Be Done.” My specific topic was how NIJ’s investments can help move policing reforms in the right direction. This edition of the Director’s Corner is inspired by the conversation at the event. Read the full post.

July 6, 2015Envisioning the Future

I’m glad I had time before I arrived in Washington to reflect on what I want to accomplish during my tenure, because it has been in a whirlwind of activity since I arrived. Knowing that my tenure ends in January 2017 (when the next Administration takes office) has its advantages and disadvantages. But since it is my nature to focus on the advantages, here’s the biggest one: I have a hard and fast deadline to meet my goals! Read the full post and watch a video.

Date Modified: October 13, 2015