President Announces Intent to Fill OJP Positions

JRSA Forum. March 2013. Volume 31, Number 1.

President Obama announced his intention in February to nominate Karol V. Mason to serve as Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the Office of Justice Programs. Ms. Mason is a partner at the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP, where she practiced from 1983 to 2009. She served as a Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2009 to 2012, and from 1982 to 1983 she was a judicial law clerk for Judge John F. Grady of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Ms. Mason was a recipient of the U.S. Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and the University of North Carolina General Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Medal in 2010. She received an A.B. in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. The Assistant Attorney General position is subject to Senate confirmation. If confirmed, Ms. Mason would succeed Laurie Robinson. Mary Lou Leary has served as Acting AAG since Ms. Robinson's departure.

Robert Listenbee, Jr. has been tapped to serve in the long-vacant position of Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at the Office of Justice Programs. Mr. Listenbee is currently chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and recently co-chaired Attorney General Eric Holder's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence. He is also a primary member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, which is tasked with advising the president, Congress, and the OJJDP administrator on federal policies related to juvenile justice.

The administrator position at OJJDP has not been filled by a permanent appointee since J. Robert Flores stepped down in 2008. President George W. Bush appointed Jeff Slowikowski to serve as acting administrator in January 2009. He stayed on the job until January 2012, when he was replaced by then-deputy administrator of policy, Melodee Hanes. Ms. Hanes will remain with the agency in another role, said a source at OJJDP.

Mr. Listenbee will be the first appointed administrator not to be confirmed by the Senate. The OJJDP job was stripped of the confirmation requirement in August when President Obama signed the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011, which removed confirmation requirements from scores of appointments that heretofore had required Senate approval.