Our Team

BJA Program Staff

Tracey Trautman

Acting Director, BJA

Tracey Trautman currently serves as the Acting Director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Office of Justice Programs. She is also assigned as the Deputy Director for the Programs Office within in the Bureau of Justice Assistance. In this capacity, she provides oversight for all grants management activity within BJA, including application review, award processing, liaison with grantees, performance measurement and programmatic grant monitoring. BJA awards approximately 1,500 new grants each year, while managing a portfolio of almost 4,000 open and active grants worth approximately $2 billion dollars.


She also manages the development and execution of all formula grants and payment programs within BJA, including OJP’s flagship program, the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG).

Kristen Mahoney

Deputy Director for Policy, BJA

Ms. Kristen Mahoney was sworn in as the new BJA Deputy Director for Policy on July 9, 2012. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention for the state of Maryland and as President of the National Criminal Justice Association. She is a longtime friend of BJA and a champion of state, local, and tribal efforts to improve criminal justice in communities across the country. She brings tremendous knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to her position.

Ms. Mahoney has also worked with staff in BJA’s Programs, Planning, and Policy Offices for a number of years, and she understands the importance of BJA’s work to the communities it serves. She has also served as Chief of the Technical Services Division of the Baltimore Police Department, as a Senior Policy Advisor in the COPS Office, and as the State Administrative Agent for Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds for many years.

Cornelia Sigworth

Associate Deputy Director, BJA

Ms. Cornelia Sigworth serves as an Associate Deputy Director for Law Enforcement and Adjudications within the BJA Policy Office. In this role, she works with national partners, national organizations, and policymakers to combat crime and improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, particularly in the area of law enforcement, adjudications, and combating violent crime. Ms. Sigworth joined BJA in 2007 as a Policy Advisor in the areas of law enforcement, improving investigations, forensic science, and crime prevention. Before joining BJA, Ms. Sigworth served with the National Institute of Justice, DOJ, where her responsibilities included the substantive, programmatic, and financial management of national research, evaluation, and developmental programs. She is a graduate of DOJ’s highly competitive Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program (LEAP). Ms. Sigworth holds a master’s degree in justice, law, and society from American University. She earned her undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University. 

Catherine "Kate" McNamee

SPI Senior Policy Advisor

Catherine (Kate) McNamee is a Policy Advisor within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).  In this capacity, she plans and manages national level criminal justice programs designed to assist state and local law enforcement in adopting such promising practices as evidence based violence reduction strategies, intellectual property crime enforcement, and crime and violence prevention public education initiatives.  Ms. McNamee previously held the position of Senior Research Analyst within the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), and in this capacity oversaw the evaluation of sexual assault prevention and response programs within the U.S. Military Services as well as the United States Military Service Academies (MSAs). Prior to her work at DoD, Ms. McNamee was a Social Science Analyst within the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Violence and Victimization Research Division for six years, during which she managed the Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI), participated in the development and implementation of the President’s DNA Initiative, and oversaw the deployment of national level prevalence studies of various crime issues as well as evaluations of promising crime prevention and law enforcement programs.   She began her career at OJP as a Presidential Management Fellow within NIJ’s Office of the Director in 2001, and holds an M.S. Degree in Justice, Law and Society from American University and a B.A. in English and Political Science from The George Washington University.

Dawn Hill

SPI Policy Advisor

Dawn is a State Policy Advisor for the Department of Justice in the Office of Justice Programs/Bureau of Justice Assistance.  She joined the department in 2013 and has managed over 200 grants for the bureau.  Currently, she manages grants for the Smart Policing Initiative, Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), and Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) for the state of Virginia.  Dawn brings over 10 years of experience managing grants in the non-profit sector and the federal government.   

BJA’s SPI Training and Technical Assistance Partner: CNA Corporation Project Staff

James "Chip" Coldren

Project Director

Dr. Chip Coldren is a university professor and long-time police researcher and technical assistance provider. Dr. Coldren has extensive experience with introducing innovation into police department operations, policies and procedures and he formerly directed the Illinois Community Policing Training Institute.

Vivian Elliott

Project Manager

Ms. Vivian Elliott is a senior research specialist at CNA where she has contributed to research projects on topics related to emergency preparedness and criminal justice. She is a former research scientist for the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science and Research Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigations. She currently supports SPI by overseeing the website, social media networks, webinars, and a variety of other technical assistance activities.Ms. Vivian Elliott is a senior research specialist at CNA where she has contributed to research projects on topics related to emergency preparedness and criminal justice. She is a former research scientist for the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science and Research Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigations. She currently supports SPI by overseeing the website, social media networks, webinars, and a variety of other technical assistance activities.

James "Chips" Stewart

Senior Project Advisor

Mr. Chips Stewart is a former Director of the National Institute of Justice and a retired Chief of Detectives from the Oakland, California Police Department. Mr. Stewart is a national expert on police operations who has led numerous studies and technical assistance efforts since leaving the federal government.


Hildy Saizow

Subject Matter Expert Coordinator

Ms. Hildy Saizow is a former Executive director of the Justice Research and Statistics Association. She has worked for over 20 years as a criminologist, public policy analyst, community partner, and consultant to non-profit and government agencies.


Michael D. White

Research Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Michael White is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. He is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of criminal justice policy and police use of force, authoring more than thirty refereed articles and two books and supporting more than a dozen local, state, and national funded projects as a Co-Principal Investigator.

Zoë Thorkildsen

Outreach Coordinator

Ms. Zoë Thorkildsen currently provides technical and analytical support for SPI where she conducts subject matter research as well as contributes to research reports. She manages the SPI website and webinars, and serves as editor for the SPI Quarterly Newsletter. She has also assisted with conference planning and execution, including the preparation of advance materials such as Attendee Guides and post-event summary reports. 

Laura Kunard

Analyst/Subject Matter Expert

Laura L. Kunard, Ph.D. serves as senior research scientist for Justice Programs in CNA’s Safety and Security division where she works on a variety of DOJ initiatives focused on law enforcement research, training and technical assistance. She currently supports the national Crisis Intervention Team training curriculum project and the Smart Policing Initiative for BJA and the Advancing 21st Century Policing Initiative, based on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and the Collaborative Reform Initiative for COPS. Dr. Kunard serves as the Principal Investigator on an NIJ-supported study of common operational picture technology in law enforcement and an Associate Monitor on the Independent Monitoring Team for the Albuquerque Police Department. She also leads a research project exploring barriers and opportunities in healthcare system employment for people with criminal records for HHS.

Dr. Kunard earned her B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Northwestern University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She spent 11 years on the Board of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, which achieved its mission in 2011. She currently serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Department of Corrections Adult Advisory Board.


Mia Hicks

Administrative Coordinator

Ms. Hicks began working at CNA the fall of 2016 for the Safety and Security Division within the Institute for Public Research. Her academic background is in liberal studies and mass communications. During her time at CNA, Ms. Hicks has provided technical and administrative support to criminal justice programs, such as the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI), Body-Worn Cameras Training and Technical Assistance, VRN, and CNA’s Executive Sessions. As part of her work on the Body-Worn Cameras project, she provides technical support to the BWC team and grantees and plays a considerable role in managing and updating the BWC Web site’s content along with running the programs social media platform. Ms. Hicks is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Mass Media Arts & Communications. 

Kamya Raja


Ms. Kamya Raja joined CNA in January 2016 as a Research Specialist and currently supports both criminal justice and emergency preparedness projects. Her work for the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) involves providing technical assistance and logistical support to six SPI sites. Pinellas County, FL; Roanoke County, VA; and Shoreline, WA are all developing initiatives to improve officer response to mental/behavioral health crisis calls and reduce repeat calls. Atlanta, GA SPI is developing a hospital-based intervention to reduce repeat gun violence, and both Lowell, MA and Madison, WI are developing programs to combat the escalating opioid epidemic. Ms. Raja also contributes to the SPI quarterly newsletter and supports web content management for the SPI website. Prior to CNA, Ms. Raja completed her Master of Science degree in Public Health from Tulane University where she also completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and International Development.


Keri Richardson



Keri Richardson is a Research Specialist at CNA, currently working as an analyst on several projects including Body Worn Cameras, Building Safer Communities, and the Smart Policing Initiative. She supports these projects through administrative logistical support, data collection, agenda development, site visit planning, project documentation, and providing other assistance. Keri is a graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Some of her background areas include research, crime analysis, data collection, as well as training and technical assistance. Keri supports numerous sites through recommending training and technical assistance, administering site visit documentation, highlighting next steps from monthly site calls, and facilitating sites receiving supporting resources. 



Tom Woodmansee

Analyst/Subject Matter Expert

Lt. Tom Woodmansee was with the Madison Police Department for 23 years. His experience includes: Patrol Officer, Two years as an Undercover Narcotics Officer, 13 years as a Detective with assignments in Person Crimes, Financial Grimes, General Crimes and Sensitive Crimes. As a Detective, Lt. Woodmansee was the lead investigator on numerous homicides and high profile investigations. He spent four years in the Dane County Narcotics and Gangs Task Force where he was nominated by the United States Attorney’s Office and a recipient of the International Narcotics Investigator award for being the lead investigator in one of the largest drug investigations in Madison’s history. Woodmansee was a member the Madison SWAT team for over 15 years where his assignments included being a tactical operator, later a Negotiator and then a Commander.