Project Team & Partners

  • The Equality Indicators is a project of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance. ISLG’s mission to bridge the gap between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers using data and research to help government produce better results, worthy of public investment and trust. Our expertise includes data analysis for a wide array of purposes—including cost-benefit analysis, performance evaluation, and the development of performance indicators—and fiscal management for both short- and long-term planning. We focus on government at the state and local levels, working both nationally and internationally, because we believe cities and states are ideal laboratories for developing new approaches to longstanding social problems.

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Project Team

  • Michael Jacobson, ISLG Executive Director

    Prior to joining CUNY in May 2013 to help create the Institute for State and Local Governance, Michael Jacobson was president of the Vera Institute of Justice, serving from 2005 to 2013. He is the author of Downsizing Prisons: How to Reduce Crime and End Mass Incarceration (New York University Press 2005). Holding a Ph.D. in sociology, he has had an ongoing academic career coupled with more than 20 years of government service. From 1998 to 2005 he was a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of CUNY. He was New York City correction commissioner from 1995 to 1998, New York City probation commissioner from 1992 to 1996, and worked in the New York City Office of Management and Budget from 1984 to 1992 where he was a deputy budget director. In 2010 to 2012, Michael served as the chair of Altus, a global alliance working across continents and from a multicultural perspective to improve public safety and justice.

  • Victoria Lawson, Senior Research Associate and Equality Indicators Project Director

    Victoria Lawson directs the Equality Indicators as well as the Institute’s work on frequent utilizers of the criminal justice system. She also contributes to ISLG’s efforts to re-imagine New York City’s criminal justice system and develop a plan to close Rikers, in addition to performing general research and development work. Before joining ISLG, she conducted research at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she worked on a number of projects involving contributing causes to and potential remedies for wrongful conviction, and worked in the Research Department at the Innocence Project. In addition to her work on wrongful conviction, she has worked in a consulting capacity evaluating the effectiveness of continuing medical education courses and performance improvement initiatives, and taught undergraduate classes in psychology and research methods. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the Graduate Center of CUNY and an M.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

  • Besiki Kutateladze, Assistant Professor at Florida International University

    Besiki Kutateladze is an Assistant Professor at Florida International University, and is currently advising the Equality Indicators team on the project expansion nationally and internationally. He was previously ISLG’s founding research director responsible for developing the vision and plan for the Institute’s research department, hiring and supervising research staff, overseeing all research projects, and building and maintaining relationships with funders and clients. Prior to joining the Institute, Besiki directed several studies at the Vera Institute of Justice. Most recently he served as the research director for the Prosecution and Racial Justice Program where he managed studies based in five district attorney’s offices and was also principal investigator for a National Institute of Justice-funded project examining the impact of defendants’ race and ethnicity on multiple prosecutorial and judicial decisions in New York County. He is an expert in the development of performance indicators. He played a crucial role in the development of the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators and their field testing in Haiti and Liberia. Before joining Vera, he taught courses on comparative criminal justice and statistics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and lectured and conducted research on criminal procedure at Tbilisi State University. In 2002, Besiki was the U.S. State Department Fellow from the Republic of Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the CUNY Graduate Center and a law degree from the Republic of Georgia.

  • Julia Bowling, Research Analyst

    Julia Bowling works on the Equality Indicators team to expand and implement the research framework for cities across the United States and internationally. Prior to joining ISLG, Julia provided research and communications assistance for States of Incarceration, a national public dialogue and traveling museum exhibition about local histories of incarceration. Previously, she worked as a Research Associate in the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. At the Brennan Center, Julia researched the costs of mass incarceration and assisted with criminal justice policy research, analysis, and proposals. In 2015, she co-authored a report analyzing the impact of increasing incarceration rates and other factors on declining crime rates. Julia is pursuing an M.S. in urban policy analysis and management at The New School. Her graduate work has included policy analysis to improve access to reentry services for people leaving New York City’s Rikers Island jail. Julia holds a B.A. in economics and environmental studies from Oberlin College.

  • Reagan Daly, Research Director

    Reagan Daly is the research director at ISLG with more than 10 years of experience developing and managing criminal justice research in applied settings. She has extensive experience in experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation design, implementation assessment, and performance measurement. Prior to joining the Institute, Reagan served as the assistant commissioner for research and planning at the New York City Department of Probation (DOP), and she was an associate research director at the Vera Institute of Justice. She has overseen the implementation of new risk-needs assessment instruments at DOP, including the development of a monitoring and validation plan, and, together with partners from the Center for Court Innovation, designed a quasi-experimental evaluation of DOP’s neighborhood-based model of probation supervision, called the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON), that was funded by the National Institute of Justice. During her time at Vera, she oversaw, among other projects, a two-year mixed methods research study of parole violations for the New York State Division of Parole and an evaluation of New York City’s first Social Impact Bond Initiative. Reagan received her Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005.

  • Elizabeth DeWolf, Policy Associate

    Elizabeth has a background in urban sociology and visual art, with a research focus on equitable urban development. At ISLG she does policy research on reimagining NYC’s criminal justice system, particularly the Department of Corrections, as well as research supporting the Equality Indicators project. Prior to joining ISLG, Elizabeth was Competitions Manager at Van Alen Institute, where she oversaw interdisciplinary research and design projects aimed at helping city governments solve complex urban challenges. Previously, Elizabeth was the 2013-2014 Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics, where she received an MSc in City Design and Social Science. Her dissertation analyzed the influence of activism on urban development and public space in Istanbul, a city where she resided for several years teaching English, conducting research on grassroots activism, and supporting the Making City Istanbul project for Istanbul’s 2012 Design Biennial. Elizabeth also holds a BA in Sociology and Studio Art from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

  • Jocelyn Drummond, Research Associate

    Jocelyn Drummond is an urban planner with experience in research, geographic information systems (GIS), urban design, and data visualization. Before joining ISLG, Jocelyn was a senior research analyst for the City of Boston’s Assessing Department where she conducted GIS analyses of real estate sales data and developed a regression model for the valuation of multi-family residential properties in Boston. Jocelyn received her Master in City Planning degree with a certificate in urban design from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her A.B. in architecture from Princeton University. Her master’s thesis explored the relationships between the built environment and health outcomes and the use of mapping and data visualization as tools for identifying and addressing inequalities in the health landscape of New York City. Previously, Jocelyn was a researcher for MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism, where she co-authored a report on health and urbanism, and an NYC Urban Fellow with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Urban Design and Art Unit.

  • Monica San Juan, Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Aide to the Executive Director

    Monica San Juan is responsible for the overall administrative operations of ISLG including human resources, facilities, office management, and technology. Working with the executive director and research and policy directors, she ensures that the Institute has the right systems in place to support its mission and various projects in an effective and efficient manner. Additionally, she provides support to the executive director by managing his calendar and prioritizing opportunities and activities. Prior to joining the Institute she worked at the Vera Institute of Justice as special assistant to the president where she was the primary point of contact within the executive department for senior management, government partners, trustees and other outside stakeholders. Before beginning her career in the nonprofit sector, she worked at MetLife analyzing economic trends in Latin America. She received her B.A. in international relations and language and culture from the State University of New York at Purchase.

Consultants

  • Chris Alen Sula, Data Visualization Consultant

    Chris Alen Sula is assistant professor at Pratt Institute’s School of Information & Library Science, where he teaches graduate courses in visualization, digital humanities, critical theory, and community building and engagement. His research applies visualization and network science to humanities datasets, especially those chronicling the history of philosophy. He has also published articles on citation studies in the humanities; the connection between digital humanities, libraries, and cultural heritage institutions; the politics of technology; and ethical and activist uses of visualization. Chris received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the CUNY Graduate Center. His website is chrisalensula.org.

  • Samantha Raddatz, User Experience Consultant

    Samantha Raddatz is the founder of the information architecture and user experience design practice Logic Department. She has also acted as a user experience specialist on the CUNY Academic Commons team, and a consultant on various other non-profit and institutional websites including the Near East Online Museum and the NY Committee for Occupational Health & Safety, and done work with NYU Libraries, NY Environment Report, and America Achieves. She was a coordinator for World IA Day NYC 2015, and was the regional director for the conference in 2016. Samantha received her M.S. in library and information science from Pratt Institute. More information and work samples can be found at logicdept.com.

  • Mark Fiedler, Architectural Advisor

    Mark Fiedler is a practicing architect in New York City and co-founded the design studio of Fiedler Marciano Architecture in 2006. The firm places particular emphasis on work that improves the public realm through design, art and culture, and has collaborated on projects for the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Syracuse University. Mark is currently assisting the Equality Indicators team on the development of equality guidelines and certification. He received a Master in Design Studies degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. To learn more about Mark and his firm visit fiedlermarciano.com.