Director, National Crime Victim Bar Association
Renée is the Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. She also serves as the Director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, an affiliate program of the National Center. Prior to taking the helm of the NCVBA, Renée was the executive director of a legal services organization in Pittsburgh, which focused on the legal rights of victims of domestic violence and other indigent clients. Renée is seasoned in nonprofit leadership, also serving as a board member for Athena International and Voices in Action. Renée is passionate and stays connected to the community as well. She mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteers at Children’s National Hospital, and advocates for children as a court-appointed special advocate. For these efforts, she has been recognized as an Athena Young Professional Finalist, named one of Pittsburgh’s 40 under 40, and received a Jefferson Award. Renée completed her undergraduate studies in theatre arts at Point Park University and subsequently received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law.
Chief Programs Office
Dr. Deanee Johnson
Dr. Johnson is a key player in advancing the victim services field at the federal, state, and local levels. She is currently the Chief Program Officer at the National Center for Victims of Crime. She oversees their federally funded programs ensuring adherence to special conditions, project deliverable timelines, and program reporting. She has over 20 years of experience in the crime victim field, working directly with victims and survivors, partnering with multidisciplinary professionals and teams to meet the needs of child victims and their families. She started as a volunteer mentor for adolescent sexual assault survivors in 1999 in Huntsville, Texas and has since worked as a Survivor Specialist, Child Forensic Interviewer, Director of a statewide sexual assault coalition, and Director of a Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Southern Maryland. Most recently she has led the working group focused on the victim services component of the 2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction out of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General. Dr. Johnson has advised large scale training and technical assistance efforts, policy and procedure implementation plans, organization management and has collaborated with a multitude of federal and state agencies serving child victims. She serves on the National Steering Committee for the Vision 21 Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth, Office for Victims of Crime demonstration project, the Advisory Board for Preparedness Without Paranoia, and the Charles County Board of Education Safety Advisory Board in Maryland. Dr. Johnson has a bachelors degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University, a masters degree in counseling from Midwestern State University and her Ph.D. in child development from Texas Woman’s University.
Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
Deidre Watford is the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the National Center, bringing over 35 years of experience in strategic planning, project management, creative direction and project budgeting. She worked at several local and national advertising agencies in New York and Richmond, Va, before deciding to harness the power of the relationships she had built over the years. In 2005, she founded JosMar & Associates where she became known for being flexible, diverse, independent and dedicated to her clients. She quickly became the go to resource for many diverse clients in the Richmond, Va area. In 2013 she founded and still operates as President of The MJW Foundation, which was founded in honor of her mother, a trailblazer for the marginalized communities of the South Bronx. The MJW Foundation is an early childhood development organization which serves the underserved communities in the South Bronx by introducing cultural experiences and educational support to our young children. She has a passion for service and puts that passion to work at the National Center by helping to guide the messaging to our victim communities and advocates.
Director, Events and Special Projects
Katy Maskolunas is the Director of Events and Special Projects at the National Center, where she oversees planning of the annual National Training Institute and manages the National Center’s work related to victim involvement in criminal justice reform, including the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. She has worked in many different roles during her years at the National Center, including on the National Crime Victim Bar Association, National Compassion Fund, and DC Victim Hotline. Prior to joining the National Center, she worked as a graduate intern at the Arlington County Police Department, specializing in homeland security. Katy holds a MA in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University, and a BS in Psychology from the University of North Georgia.
Director, Field Services
Rachel Gibson is currently the Director of Field Services at the National Center for Victims of Crime, where she works to further the mission by supporting and overseeing NCVC’s programs for victim service professionals, providing training and technical assistance.
Formerly a Senior Technology Safety Specialist on the Safety Net Team at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Rachel worked to increase the safety and privacy of survivors and victims of crime. She developed training and technical assistance and provided expert thought leadership to build the capacity of victim service providers, private industries, lawmakers, and communities at large to provide advocacy and support to survivors in this digital society.
Rachel also worked at the National Resource Center on Reaching Victims through the Vera Institute of Justice, and at the former Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence as the Technology Safety Program Specialist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida.
Director, Center of Research and Innovation
Dr. Andre Mansion
Dr. Andre Mansion is the Center’s Director of Research and Innovation, bringing over 10 years of experience conducting research on issues relating to criminal and juvenile justice, policy reform, and trauma. He is driven by a desire to increase the utilization of credible empirical knowledge into policy.. Andre has led research efforts for the University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University Law Center on issues of adolescent development, juvenile offending, trauma, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. He has also provided subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense, where he conducted research and developed programming aimed at the prevention of combat-related trauma, as well as the reduction of mental health-related stigma among active duty US Service members. Andre received his undergraduate degree with distinction in psychology from Duke University and holds a JD in law and a PhD in Psychology from Arizona State University’s Joint JD/PhD Program in Psychology and Law. He is also an active member in his community at the national, local, and professional level. He is an Ambassador for the Clinton Foundation 20|30 Group, a Center Associate and Training Instructor for the DC Center for the LGBT Community, and serves on the American Psychology-Law Society’s (APA Div. 41) Committee on Corrections.
Director, Center for Victim & Survivor Services
Sarah Ohlsen is the Director of the Center for Victim & Survivor Services, where she provides vision, leadership, and direction to the direct service programs at the National Center for Victims of Crime. Sarah is a creative problem-solver, strategist, and consensus-builder with experience in developing partnerships to achieve results through shared visions and goals. She has counseled government leaders, law enforcement, and service providers to develop and implement programs, projects, and initiatives that improve the way the criminal justice system responds to survivors. Sarah’s two decade career working with the criminal justice system and survivors of crime spans leadership and strategic roles at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Multnomah County, Oregon Department of Community Justice, and the District of Columbia’s Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. Sarah served on Multnomah County’s Sex Trafficking Collaborative, as both the Director and an executive team member for six years, on the Oregon Attorney Generals Taskforce for Victims’ Rights Enforcement, and as a Mayoral appointment to the District of Columbia’s Concealed Pistol Licensing Review Board. Sarah holds her master’s degree in criminology from George Mason University. She’s considered an expert in human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, system-based victim services, and post-conviction crime victims’ rights.
Director, Victim Assistance to Support Tribes Center (VAST)
With National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) Gayle Thom is pleased to be part of the Victim Assistance to Support Tribes (VAST) Center. Gayle’s team developed the TribalResourceTool.org; an online lifeline of resources for American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) victims, survivors, and victim service providers. Tribal Resource Tool.org is currently queried about 900 times monthly and contains over 900 AI/AN resources.
Gayle is a veteran of multiple roles in the criminal justice field. She retired from the FBI during her tenth year as a Victim Specialist. She has been privileged to share from her education and experiences by providing training and technical assistance to Alaskan villages, Native American Nations, and in non-Native settings. Thom was assigned to the Tribal Lands in South Dakota, routinely responding to critical incidents, to crime scenes and assisting victims. She also served on FBI national teams, privileged to respond to communities in crisis across the US. Gayle recently implemented the Crash Assistance (CAP) Program for the SD Highway Patrol.