The CJRI Team
CJRI is led by Dr. Douglas E. Wood. From 2011-2018, Dr. Wood was a program officer at the Ford Foundation on the Youth Opportunity and Learning team and for nearly two years served as Acting Lead of the foundation’s global Higher Education for Social Justice initiative. Prior to joining Ford, he was Executive Director and Chief Education Officer of the Tennessee State Board of Education, chair of the Basic Education Program Review Committee, and a member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, an appointed commissioner on the Education Commission of the States. He has also been a Fellow at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, executive director and principal investigator of the National Academy for Excellent Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University, and Associate Dean at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School.
Dr. Wood began his career as a public school teacher and while a graduate student at Harvard, worked as a consultant with the Urban Superintendent’s Program, the World Bank’s Office of East Asian Affairs, and taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Wood received the 2018 Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is a board member of the Partnership for College Completion. Dr. Wood holds a B.A. degree in History from Wofford College, a master’s degree in English from Middlebury College, and a master’s and doctoral degree from Harvard University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Middlebury College.
Amy Brown has more than 30 years of experience working on intersectional economic, environmental, racial, and gender justice issues. Early in her career, she ran non-profit organizations in New York City, providing food, housing and benefits assistance, health care, and job training to community members in Brooklyn and Harlem. She launched the nation’s largest Earned Income Tax Credit campaign and helped bring asset-building and the racial wealth gap to the public agenda. Amy served as a Senior Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, where she managed portfolios addressing economic justice, predatory finance, tax and budget policy, money in politics, and civic engagement. Most recently, Amy was Director of Food and Agriculture at the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she led a team working at the intersection of climate, health, and justice.
Eric Cadora has worked for criminal justice reform for 30 years, serving as a justice strategist and information technology consultant to government (both domestically and internationally), research institutes, and social purpose advocacy groups in pursuit of data-driven solutions to criminal and social justice challenges. Over that time, project partners have included the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Ford Foundation, the Urban Institute, Columbia University, the ACLU, NAACP, Children’s Defense Fund, and dozens of state departments of corrections across the country, as well as GIZ, DFID, and other international donor agencies. Cadora is the founder of Justice Mapping, a data visualization and geographical information systems consultancy. In 2010, Justice Mapping launched the “Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections,” an interactive mapping website anchored in data partnerships with 25 state departments of corrections, parole and probation; and designed to foster policy narratives about the geographic dimensions and costs of locally concentrated incarceration.
From 2015 to 2016, Cadora served as the Chief Research & Data Strategies Officer for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, where he oversaw the reorganization of the Office’s wide-ranging research initiatives with the NYPD, DAs offices, Legal Aid, the courts, and Department of Corrections. From 2001 through 2004, Cadora served as Grants Officer at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), supporting a portfolio of reform initiatives across the country against the overuse of imprisonment. While at OSF, Cadora conceived and launched the “Justice Reinvestment” initiative, which became a multi-million-dollar Federal grant program of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. Before that, Cadora directed research and policy at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services in New York, where he originated the “Million-Dollar Blocks” critique of prison spending.
Cadora was co-recipient of the American Society of Criminology President’s Award in 2009. His most recent publication, Civic Lessons: How Certain Schemes to End Mass Incarceration Can Fail, can be found in the January, 2014 edition of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; and he is co-author with Dr. Todd Clear of Community Justice.
Christian Devers | Associate, Aspen Conference Services
Christian supports logistics for the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative’s digital programming, podcasts, and in-person convenings. Additionally, Christian is an Associate with the Aspen Conferences Services team where she assists with logistics for numerous and various Aspen Institute programs such as The Opportunity Youth Forum, The Collective Impact Convening, The Aspen Security Forum, and The Aspen Ideas Festival. Christian also serves as the Director of the Resnick Youth Action Forum. She leads operations for the program of global youth (ages 10-18) who participate in text-based seminars, action workshops, and intergenerational dialogues in order to develop their leadership skills and contemplate how they can be positive contributing members in their communities.
Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Christian enjoyed teaching at the pre-school, middle school, high school and collegiate levels. She completed her doctoral hours in Curriculum & Instruction at Loyola University Chicago. Additionally, Christian earned a M.Ed. in Secondary Education and a B.S. in Secondary Education/History Major from Vanderbilt University. She is based in Aspen, Colorado.
Frederick J. Frelow, EdD, is chief executive officer for Frelow & Associates in Nyack, New York. Previously, he served as interim president for the Southern Education Foundation. From 2008 to 2017, Dr. Frelow worked at the Ford Foundation in its education and scholarship program in the United States. Before that, he was director of early-college initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, where he managed development of fourteen early-college high schools. He also taught for twelve years in Newton, Massachusetts, public schools. Dr. Frelow holds an EdD degree in educational administration and policy analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a master’s degree in education and policy analysis from Boston University.
Natalie Jones is the audio producer for CJRI’s podcast, Shades of Freedom. She is a freelance reporter and audio producer living in Oakland, CA working on a variety of shows, and she also teaches an online podcast class at the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute. She used to work on a podcast about the impacts of social media and technology on society called Your Undivided Attention, and has assisted on a few books taking a hard look at the tech industry, including Brotopia by Emily Chang and Haunted Empire by Yukari Iwatani Kane. She has reported for The Guardian, The Washington Post, NPR, KQED and KALW in San Francisco, Aspen Public Radio in Colorado, Grist, Civil Eats, Craftsmanship Quarterly and the Point Reyes Light. She holds a Master of Journalism degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and a B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, CA.
James leads the Equal Measure team which serves as the learning and evaluation partner in support of the Justice and Governance Partnership. James brings 15 years of classroom teaching and district-level education leadership to Equal Measure, as well as experience leading and advising evidence-based philanthropic program design, grantmaking, and evaluation in support of communities, families, and students. James directs regional and national projects, including those in support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, PolicyLink, the Aspen Institute, and for education-focused organizations in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia.
Prior to joining Equal Measure, James was a senior consultant at a national education consulting firm, where he led strategy and operations for a portfolio focused on building strong nonprofit organizations and effective grantmaking programs in partnership with national philanthropies, nonprofits, and state and local education agencies. He also worked as a program officer at a family foundation in Philadelphia, where he developed and led a K–12 grantmaking portfolio. He currently serves in leadership roles in philanthropy as co-chair of Philanthropy Network’s Learning Committee, a member of its DEI committee, and co-chair of the Philadelphia chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). He also was the inaugural recipient of the AAPIP Legacy Award, and is an Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow.
Wanda Mann | CJRI Events Consultant
Wanda Mann advises the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative on events development and production. She is also the voice that welcomes listeners to CJRI’s Shades of Freedom podcast. For more than two decades, Mann has developed conferences, symposiums, lecture series, and galas for non-profit agencies and foundations. Her clients and employers have included the Ford Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, Eagle Academy Foundation, and the Princeton Club of New York. A native New Yorker, Mann is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Willem Patrick is an intern for the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative. His work consists of research and episode design for CJRI’s podcast, Shades of Freedom. He also assists Dr. Wood in developing content for CJRI blog posts. He is currently an undergraduate at Colorado College, majoring in English and minoring in Russian Studies. He began work in the social justice field as a volunteer for Books to Prisoners, a Seattle-based organization that sends books to people who are incarcerated. He plans on combining his passion for literature with prison reform after graduating.
Ken Thompson’s work at CJRI focuses on strategy, planning and management support for the CJRI team, including support for the initiative-level strategic planning, and also grant program design, and communications strategy.
Thompson is an independent consultant to government, the philanthropic sector and non-profits; his focus is on multi-sector and public-private collaboratives as they think strategically and design new approaches and funding programs. His recent employment experience includes an 18-year stint at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he focused on youth-focused programs, including education, juvenile justice, foster care, and other systems-level reform initiatives. Other clients include the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, the King County (WA) County Council, and the Workforce Development Bord of Seattle/King County. He has master’s degrees from the University of Washington and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.