Courtney Bryan named director of Center for Court Innovation.
The Center for Court Innovation is announcing today that Courtney Bryan has been selected as our new director, effective March 16. Bryan will be the first woman to lead the organization since our founding in 1996 and will oversee an annual budget of more than $80 million and 580 employees. She succeeds Greg Berman, who announced his resignation in October.
Bryan’s commitment to criminal justice reform and community change led to her unanimous selection after a nationwide search led by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
Bryan is currently an executive director with the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation, which pursues economic growth in communities by strengthening workforce systems, revitalizing neighborhoods, growing small businesses, and improving the financial health of individuals. She helped launch the foundation’s Second Chance Opportunities initiative to support greater economic prospects for people with criminal backgrounds.
Bryan knows the Center well, having served in several leadership roles, most recently as a member of our advisory board. Over the course of more than a decade at the Center, Bryan served as the director of the Midtown Community Court and worked with reformers across the country to promote new responses to human trafficking and domestic violence and to bolster public trust in justice. She also served as staff director for the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, which successfully argued for closing the jails on Rikers Island.
Bryan worked as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn and as a staff attorney at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Temple University School of Law.
“I’m excited to welcome Courtney Bryan back to the Center for Court Innovation. Ms. Bryan has served in key leadership roles in the nonprofit and criminal justice sectors and brings to the Center a bold problem-solving approach and extensive experience as a criminal justice practitioner and policymaker, including stellar service as director of the Midtown Community Court. Ms. Bryan is ideally suited to build on the Center’s strong partnership with the courts—systematically studying the trends driving our dockets and working closely with our judges and staff to test new ideas to promote better outcomes for New York’s litigants and communities,” said Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the State of New York.
“Courtney Bryan is a strong leader who knows how to get things done. She brings enthusiasm and great ideas to whatever she does. Because of her expertise and commitment to innovative criminal justice practices, I have no doubt that the Center is in excellent hands,” said Victoria Pratt, former chief judge of Newark and chair of the Center for Court Innovation’s advisory board.
“I have known and admired Courtney Bryan for many years. She is the ideal person to lead the Center for Court Innovation into the next decade. She has the talent, drive, and organizational skill to manage an agency that is achieving systemic change in New York and advancing justice reform around the world,” said Greg Berman, outgoing director of the Center for Court Innovation.
“With our focus on neighborhood safety, crime prevention, and reducing incarceration, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice relies on strong, capable partners like the Center for Court Innovation to help implement lasting reforms. With her deep understanding of how the justice system works and her experience with policies that support the closing of the jails on Rikers Island, I am so pleased that Courtney Bryan will be leading the Center at this critical time. We look forward to working with her and the entire Center team,” said Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
“Throughout Courtney Bryan’s career she’s been the voice in the room that questions how people think about incarceration, accountability, and communities. She recognizes the intersections between law and social problems, and she uses smart, problem-solving approaches to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities. I’m excited to work with her in her new role, and together, we can promote research-based strategies and build a justice system that fully lives up to the ideals of equality and fairness on which our country was founded,” said Karol V. Mason, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“The Ford Foundation is thrilled to hear that the Center for Court Innovation, a critical organization forging new ideas to improve the quality of justice in New York and beyond, has found an exemplary leader in Courtney Bryan. Throughout her career, Courtney has shown a commitment to social justice and expanding opportunities for those in need. She skillfully coordinated the complex work of the Independent Commission on Criminal Justice and Incarceration on which I served and helped forge a master plan that is bringing about an end to mass incarceration in New York City. Her appointment is good news for anyone who believes our justice system should and can be better,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.