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Laurie O. Robinson: Acting Assistant Attorney General for Office of Justice Programs
February 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 20

Laurie O. Robinson, director of the University of Pennsylvania criminology department’s Master of Science Program, has been appointed acting assistant attorney general of the US Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. She is taking a leave of absence from Penn and began her appointment last week.

The temporary appointment marks Ms. Robinson’s return to OJP where she served as assistant attorney general from 1993 to 2000. A national leader in criminal-justice policy, Ms. Robinson was instrumental in directing several new initiatives including comprehensive community-based crime control and innovations in offender management.

Under Ms. Robinson’s leadership, OJP grew substantially with an annual appropriation increase from $800 million in 1993 to $4 billion in 2000. Her seven-year tenure as an assistant attorney general in OJP was the longest of any director in the federal criminal justice assistance agency’s history.

Ms. Robinson, who is also a lecturer in criminology and senior fellow of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, will serve until a permanent appointee is named by the White House and confirmed by the United States Senate.

“We are delighted that President Obama has chosen Laurie Robinson to set the course of the federal government’s anti-crime efforts,” said Dr. Adrian Raine, chair of Penn’s criminology department.

“Both Philadelphia and the nation will benefit from Laurie Robinson’s evidence-based leadership away from the bankrupting policies of recent years to more effective strategies of crime prevention,” said Dr. Lawrence W. Sherman, director of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at Penn.

Almanac - February 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 20