Criminal Justice Speaker Series - Thomas Abt

Criminal Justice Speaker Series

Thursday, October 31, 2019 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Fenwick Library, #2001


The Criminal Justice Speaker Series is a vibrant component of the MS in Criminal Justice graduate program. The speaker series brings individuals working at the cutting edge of criminal justice issues to Mason. All members of the Criminology, Law and Society Department are invited to attend. We are very excited to announce a talk by Thomas Abt!

Thomas Abt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as a member of the Campbell Collaboration Criminal Justice Steering Committee, member of the Advisory Board of the Police Executive Programme at the University of Cambridge, and a Senior Fellow with the Igarapé Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Both in the United States and globally, Abt writes, teaches, and studies the use of evidence-informed approaches to reduce urban violence, among other criminal justice topics. His book, Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence - and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets, was published in June 2019. Abt’s work is frequently featured in major media outlets such as the Atlantic, Economist, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.

Before joining Harvard, Abt served as Deputy Secretary for Public Safety to Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York, where he oversaw all criminal justice and homeland security agencies, including the Divisions of Corrections and Community Supervision, Criminal Justice Services, Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and the State Police. During his tenure, Abt led the development of New York’s GIVE (Gun-Involved Violence Elimination) Initiative, which employs evidence-informed, data-driven approaches to reduce gun violence.

Before his work in New York, Abt served as Chief of Staff to the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked with the nation’s principal criminal justice grant-making and research agencies to integrate evidence, policy, and practice. He played a lead role in establishing the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, a network of federal agencies and local communities working together to reduce youth and gang violence. Abt was also founding member of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a place-based development effort that was recognized by the Kennedy School as one of the Top 25 Innovations in Government for 2013.