Senior Policy Analyst Criminal Justice and Public Safety
National Governor's Association

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) seeks an experienced professional to join the Homeland Security and Public Safety (HSPS) Division as a senior policy analyst to work on a range of public safety issues, with a primary focus on state criminal justice reform.

The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, speak with a collective voice on national policy, and develop innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism. The NGA Center is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors and their key policy staff. Governors rely on the NGA Center to provide tailored technical assistance for challenges facing their states; identify and share best practices from across the country; and convene leading policymakers, program officials, and scholars. Through research reports, policy analyses, cross-state learning labs, and other unique services, the NGA Center informs governors of what works, what does not, and what lessons can be learned from others grappling with similar issues.

The NGA Center’s HSPS Division provides information, research, policy analysis, and technical assistance for governors and their staff across a range of homeland security and public safety issues. Current focus areas for the division include sentencing and corrections reform, juvenile justice, paroling practices, cybersecurity, opioid abuse and addiction, emergency communications, homeland security, justice information-sharing, and public health preparedness.


The NGA Center for Best Practices in partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association will be launching a new multi-year initiative—the National Criminal Justice Reform Project—to support system-wide criminal justice reform in up to five states. See Press Release below. <span “=”” black;”=””>Through the initiative, the NGA Center will provide intensive technical assistance focused on one or more areas of state policy and practice, including pretrial release; reentry and offender recidivism; mental health and substance abuse; reducing incarceration; and information sharing and integration of evidence-based practices across the justice system. The initiative supports the NGA Center’s broader goal of helping states improve public safety by making criminal justice systems smarter, fairer, and more cost effective.

To help support the initiative, the NGA Center seeks an experienced professional to join the Homeland Security and Public Safety Division as a senior policy analyst. While the professional’s primary focus will be on supporting the initiative, they will also support the division’s work on a broad range of other projects including juvenile justice, opioid abuse and addiction (Rx drugs and heroin), and public safety communications.

Responsibilities of the position include:

  • Provide subject matter expertise and targeted technical assistance to governors and their senior staff, agency directors, and state elected officials.
  • Give presentations and lead panel discussions, state strategy sessions, and other meetings for high-level state officials.
  • Develop and help manage multiple projects related to advancing promising state policy and practice by writing proposals, developing project budgets, working with partner organizations, and ensuring the timely production of deliverables.
  • Write and edit white papers, issue briefs, and memos on policy issues and best practices of relevance to governors and their senior advisors.
  • Organize, participate in and conduct workshops, seminars, and conferences for governors’ senior staff and other key stakeholders on state and national criminal justice policy issues.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with high-level state policymakers and with key individuals and stakeholder groups.
  • Carry out administrative tasks as necessary to meet internal and external timelines; ensure completion of high-quality deliverables; and manage budgets, consultants, and sub-contracts with states.
  • Travel up to 30% of time.


Advanced degree required (MPP, JD, and/or PhD) and at least 5 years of relevant experience. Direct experience with state criminal justice and public safety systems strongly preferred, as well as policy expertise in one or more of the following areas: pre-trial release and bail reform; reentry and offender recidivism; mental health and substance abuse; reducing incarceration; and information sharing and integration of evidence-based practices across the justice system.

Get the newsletter