National Commission on Forensic Science

The National Commission on Forensic Science is a new entity as of 2014 with the task of working “to improve the practice of forensic science by developing guidance concerning the intersections between forensic science and the criminal justice system” as well as “policy recommendations for the U.S. Attorney General, including uniform codes for professional responsibility and requirements for formal training and certification,” according to this press release from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Commerce.

The Commission is a response to the 2009 report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward by the National Research Council Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Sciences Community (2009).  At the first public meeting of the commission on February 3, 2014, the Honorable Harry T. Edwards, Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit provided Reflections on the Findings of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community.  In conjunction with the Commission’s first meeting in February 2014, the White House issued a report, Strengthening Forensic Science: A Progress Report.

Ongoing information concerning the committee, including notices of meetings, will be maintained within the General Service Administration’s Federal Advisory Committee Act database, which is available here.  There is very little information currently posted.

Commissioners include:

  • Suzanne Bell, Ph.D. , Associate Professor, West Virginia University;
  • Frederick Bieber, Ph.D., Medical Geneticist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School;
  • Thomas Cech, Ph.D. , Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder;
  • Cecelia Crouse, Ph.D. , Director, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory;
  • Gregory Czarnopys , Deputy Assistant Director, Forensic Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives;
  • M. Bonner Denton, Ph.D. , Professor, University of Arizona;
  • Vincent Di Maio, M.D., Consultant in Forensic Pathology;
  • Troy Duster, Ph.D. , Chancellor’s Professor and Senior Fellow, Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, University of California, Berkeley;
  • Jules Epstein , Associate Professor of Law, Widener University;
  • Stephen Fienberg, Ph.D. , Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Science, Carnegie Mellon University;
  • Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, Ph.D. , Professor of Pathology and Director Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University;
  • John Fudenberg , Assistant Coroner, Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner, Clark County, Nevada;
  • S. James Gates, Jr., Ph.D. , University System Regents Professor and John S. Toll Professor of Physics, University of Maryland;
  • Dean Gialamas , Crime Laboratory Director, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Scientific Services Bureau;
  • Paul Giannelli , Distinguished University Professor and Albert J Weatherhead III and Richard W. Weatherhead Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University;
  • Hon. Barbara Hervey , Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals;
  • Susan Howley , Public Policy Director, National Center for Victims of Crime;
  • Ted Hunt , Chief Trial Attorney, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Kansas City, Missouri;
  • Linda Jackson , Director, Virginia Department of Forensic Science;
  • John Kacavas , United States Attorney, District of New Hampshire;
  • Pamela King, Assistant State Public Defender, Minnesota State Public Defender Office;
  • Marc LeBeau, Ph.D. , Senior Forensic Scientist, Scientific Analysis Section, Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  • Julia Leighton , General Counsel, Public Defender Service, District of Columbia;
  • Hon. Bridget Mary McCormack , Justice, Michigan Supreme Court;
  • Peter Neufeld , Co-Director, Innocence Project, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law;
  • Phil Pulaski , Chief of Detectives, New York City Police Department;
  • Hon. Jed Rakoff , Senior United States District Judge, Southern District of New York;
  • Matthew Redle , Sheridan County and Prosecuting Attorney, Sheridan, Wyoming;
  • Michael “Jeff” Salyards, Ph.D. , Executive Director, Defense Forensic Science Center, Department of the Army; and
  • Ryant Washington , Sheriff, Fluvanna County Sherriff’s Office, Fluvanna, Virginia.

Ex-officio members include:

  • David Honey, Ph.D. , Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Science and Technology and Director of Science and Technology, Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
  • Marilyn Huestis, Ph.D., Chief, Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health;
  • Gerald LaPorte, Acting Director, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences, National Institute of Justice;
  • Patricia Manzolillo, Laboratory Director, Forensic Laboratory Services, U.S. Postal Inspection Service;
  • Frances Schrotter, Senior Vice President and Chief Operation Officer, American National Standards Institute;
  • Kathryn Turman, Assistant Director, Office for Victim Assistance, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and
  • Mark Weiss, Ph.D., Division Director, Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, National Science Foundation.
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