Board of Directors
Jean Peters Baker
Jean Peters Baker has cemented a reputation during her tenure as Jackson County’s elected prosecutor as a fearless and compassionate advocate for the victims of crime, especially the young and most vulnerable, and a champion of working with police and community leaders to confront the complex problem of violence. Baker was appointed prosecutor in May 2011 and elected to the position in November 2012. She is only the second woman elected to lead the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office; the first, now-U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, hired Baker as a young assistant prosecutor. Baker has since served in nearly every unit of the office,
Baker is widely credited with being unafraid of tackling difficult cases. In 2011, soon after being appointed to lead the office, Baker prosecuted the bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph for failing to report potential abuse of children by a priest. The case attracted national attention after a Jackson County grand jury’s indictment made the bishop the highest ranking cleric in the United States to face a criminal charge related to church’s child sex abuse scandal. In another case that attracted national attention, Baker was named special prosecutor in October 2013 to investigate the filing of charges in a high-profile sexual assault involving high school football players in northwest Missouri.
Over her career in the prosecutor’s office, Baker has served in Sex Crimes and Child Abuse, Community Justice, Domestic Violence, Drug Enforcement, Family Support, Major Crimes and as Chief Warrant Officer. Baker won the respect and admiration of neighborhood leaders, small business owners and law enforcement when she served as the coordinator of the Drug Abatement Response Team (DART). Baker spearheaded a multi-agency effort to close drug houses and businesses that erode our neighborhoods as well as motels that were known to be hotbeds of illegal drug activity. For her efforts in fighting the drug trade in Kansas City, Jean was honored with the Excellence Award for Advancing COMBAT Objectives given by the County Prosecutor, police agencies and community advocates. During her time in the prosecutor’s office, Jean also received honors as Rookie Attorney of the year and Victim Advocate of the Year.
Baker’s focus as prosecutor has been to make Jackson County a safer and better place to live, work and raise a family. Baker has set as an office goal to more closely connect the prosecutor’s office to the community and more smartly address and reduce crime, especially violent crime.
Rod Underhill has spent his professional career protecting the people of Multnomah County as a member of the District Attorney’s office. A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, he originally wanted to become an FBI agent but decided against it when he found out the FBI would tell him where he had to live. Rod wasn’t willing to risk parting with the Northwest. Rod joined the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office as a certified law student in 1987. He served as a deputy prosecutor from 1988 to 2007 and as Chief Deputy from 2007 until he took the office of District Attorney on January 1, 2013. Rod has prosecuted thousands of cases, and is best known for his tireless advocacy on behalf of domestic violence victims, child sexual abuse victims, combating gang violence and human trafficking and supporting crime victim’s rights. Throughout his career, he won major cases against some of Oregon’s most violent gang members, drug dealers and killers, including the killers of middle school student Melissa Bittler, YWCA employee Yolanda Panek and mother of four, Asia Bell. He has won awards and commendations from the Portland Police Bureau, the Oregon Department of Public Safety and Standards and the Oregon Domestic Violence Council. In 2010, the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society honored Rod as one of Oregon’s distinguished trial attorneys. In 2013 then Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber recognized Rod for his tireless work on Oregon House Bill 3194 which seeks to responsibly cut prison costs and control future growth while also reinvesting in prevention, re-entry and victims services. Rod is dedicated to public service and community outreach and serves on the boards of local, state and national public safety and community-oriented organizations. His current service includes: Board member of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Oregon Governor’s Re-entry Council, Oregon State Bar’s Bar-Press Broadcasters Council, Executive Board member of the Oregon District Attorney’s Association; Multnomah County’s Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (co-chair of the Youth and Gang Violence Subcommittee), Multnomah Bar Association Professionalism Committee, All Hands Raised Council, member of the Avel Gordly Center For Healing Advisory Board and Prosecutors Against Gun Violence.
Mr. David LaBahn is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), a national association representing elected and deputy or assistant prosecutors, and city attorneys. The association acts as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, and conducts timely and effective training and technical assistance to improve the prosecutorial function. In addition, APA serves as an advocate for prosecutors on emerging issues related to the administration of justice, development of partnerships and implementation of problem-solving strategies.
Mr. Steven Naugle is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA). He is responsible for maintaining and handling all accounting for APA’s expenses and grant management activities. The CFO also acts as APA’s Treasurer and is responsible for internal administrative functions and controls. Mr. Naugle will ensure APA’s accountability and transparency of all funds maintaining federal grant compliance for tracking, accounting, and reporting purposes. Mr. Naugle is a result driven professional with over sixteen years of experience in accounting, financing, budgeting, management and auditing for entertainment, non-profit, governmental, small business and financial organizations.
District Attorney Spencer B. Merriweather III has served as the chief prosecutor of Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), N.C. since 2017. He established a Violent Crimes Team, which focuses on shootings and felony assaults, and a Special Victims Team, a group of trauma-informed prosecutors and staff who seek justice for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. A champion of recruiting attorneys from under-represented communities, DA Merriweather also created the office’s Diversity and Inclusion Team. Before becoming District Attorney, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for more than a decade, prosecuting an array of cases. DA Merriweather earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Boulder (Colorado) City Attorney Tom Carr is the legal advisor to the City Council, all city boards and commissions and all city officials. The City Attorney also represents the city in court in civil litigation and serves as City Prosecutor in Municipal Court. Mr. Carr is the former Seattle City Attorney as Washington State’s only elected City Attorney and one of the few elected City Attorneys in the United States. While the City Attorney has no policy role in civil matters, acting as a corporate general counsel would, his role as a criminal prosecutor provides an opportunity to offer leadership on public safety issues. Under City Attorney Carr, his office and the city of Seattle embraced innovative approaches to criminal justice problem solving. Mr. Carr began his government service as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York where he handled diverse civil matters, including organized crime under the Civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
John T. Chisholm
John T. Chisholm has dedicated his career to keeping Milwaukee County safe. He has worked tirelessly to prosecute and remove some of the most violent and dangerous criminals from the community. District Attorney Chisholm believes in methods that produce real results and make his county safer. He believes in taking a pro-active approach to fighting crime, and his experience demonstrates that. John began dedicating his life and career to public service in 1994, when he began working at the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. Shortly after being elected District Attorney, John reorganized his office by creating general crime teams which he divided geographically around his community prosecutors. District Attorney Chisholm has been recognized as a national leader in community prosecution and other innovative crime reduction strategies.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has long been one of California’s leading lawyers and lawmakers. He has brought a collaborative, problem-solving focus to the City Attorney’s office, emphasizing quality of life improvements in L.A.’s neighborhoods. Already Feuer is expanding the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program, leading efforts to prevent gun violence, developing innovative approaches to gang violence, domestic abuse and school safety, and aggressively pursuing environmental justice and other efforts to protect vulnerable Angelenos. Feuer previously served as the Majority Policy Leader of the California Assembly and Chair of the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, writing many of California’s most important public safety, children’s health, transportation, consumer protection and environmental laws. Feuer wrote some of America’s toughest laws to curb gun violence, initiated L.A.’s 3-1-1 non-emergency services system and spearheaded ethics and business tax reforms. Feuer has taught at the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA School of Public Affairs. He began his career as a judicial clerk for California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin. Feuer is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Gail Ruderman Feuer, have been married for thirty years and have two children, Aaron and Danielle.
Paul L. Howard
Currently serving his third term, Paul L. Howard, Jr. first assumed the Office of Fulton County District Attorney in January 1997-becoming the first African-American to be elected district attorney in the history of the State of Georgia. As a national leader in the area of community prosecution, District Attorney Howard uses innovation and proactive crime prevention methods to create a safer Fulton County. His office’s mission is to prosecute professionally and competently all felony crimes on behalf of the citizens of Fulton County and the State of Georgia and, in doing so, to seek justice aggressively; to treat all people courteously, respectfully, and honestly; to advocate for the rights of victims; to collaborate with other governmental and private agencies to prevent crime; to create a work atmosphere which allows all employees to achieve their highest potential, and above all to make Fulton County a safer community for all of its residents.
On January 8, 2015, Marilyn J. Mosby was sworn in as the 25th State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, making her the youngest chief prosecutor of any major American city. During Mosby’s first year in office, the SAO reached an 80 percent homicide conviction rate despite a 20 percent increase in the homicide caseload. The following year, Mosby created the Gun Violence Enforcement Division and the felony conviction rate reached 93 percent. During that same time period, Mosby’s administration secured a number of high profile convictions for various violent offenders designated Public Enemy #1 by the Baltimore Police Department, including BGF Executioners, Capone Chase who shot a man in his head in broad daylight in the presence of his pregnant girlfriend and Darryl Anderson who heinously opened fire and killed two women and critically injured another. Additionally, under her leadership: the SAO convicted former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook who fatally struck a father of two with her vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and texting; all of the shooters responsible for the death of a one-year-old who was killed by a bullet meant for his father; and serial rapist Nelson Bernard Clifford.
While the primary focus of her administration has been and continues to be successfully targeting and convicting violent offenders, Mosby understands that the community has an integral role in realizing a safer city. Therefore, repairing the fractured relationship between law enforcement and communities remains a hallmark of her tenure. Since the start of her administration, Mosby has worked tirelessly to reinstate the community engagement division; hired and assigned 10 new community liaisons to each region of the city; personally attended more than 500 community events, churches, and schools; and has increased SAO grant funding by more than 27 percent.
Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., was first inaugurated as the District Attorney of New York County on January 1, 2010. Over the following four years, Mr. Vance enhanced the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as a national leader in criminal justice by expanding the offices expertise on an array of 21st century crimes, including identity theft, cybercrime, white-collar fraud, hate crimes, terrorism, domestic violence, human trafficking, and violent and gang-related crimes. Upon taking office, Mr. Vance modernized the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office by reorganizing its resources and creating new specialized bureaus and units, including the Crime Strategies Unit, Forensic Science/Cold Case Unit, Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, Major Economic Crimes Bureau, Special Victims Bureau, Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, Hate Crimes Unit, and the Public Corruption Unit. As District Attorney, Mr. Vance’s many achievements include the takedown of numerous violent street gangs, dismantling of several major domestic and international cybercrime and identity theft operations, the first convictions of individuals on State terror charges in New York State Court, and the recovery of billions of dollars from international financial institutions that had been engaged in violating international sanctions for the benefit of countries like Iran, Libya, and Sudan. Mr. Vance was reelected on November 5, 2013. In July 2011, Mr. Vance was elected by his peers to serve as President of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York for the 2012 term.Vance was born and raised in Manhattan, and is a graduate of Yale University and Georgetown University Law Center. He and his wife, Peggy McDonnell, currently reside on the Upper West Side and have two grown children.
Amy Weirich became Shelby County District Attorney in January of 2011. She was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam and then was elected on Aug. 3, 2012, to serve the remaining two years on the term of her predecessor, Bill Gibbons. She was re-elected to a full eight-year term on Aug. 7, 2014. She is the first woman to serve as District Attorney General in Shelby County. Gen. Weirich joined the DA’s Office in 1991 as a courtroom prosecutor, handling many high-profile criminal cases and serving in many leadership roles. She was chief prosecutor of the Gang and Narcotics Prosecution Unit and Division Leader for the Special Prosecution Unit in Criminal Court. Gen. Weirich helped create the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, the first federal, state and local law enforcement organization designed to curb gang activity. In 2011, the MGU imposed the state’s first anti-gang injunction in the Riverside neighborhood of Memphis.
As District Attorney, Gen. Weirich not only has pushed for harsher punishment for violent offenders, but also has embraced innovative ways to prevent crime. Gen. Weirich’s office sponsors the annual Do The Write Thing anti-violence essay contest for students, runs the Truancy Reduction Mentoring Program and created Lives Worth Saving, a prostitution-diversion program with Calvary Episcopal Church and nonprofit organizations. Hundreds of students with perfect attendance have received free bicycles in a partnership program that includes the DA’s Office, the Hyde Family Foundation and the Memphis Police Department.
Gen. Weirich serves on numerous boards and commissions, including the Family Safety Center, the Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center and the YMCA, among others. On Gen. Weirich’s watch, the DA’s Office has been listed among the Top 50 Workplaces in Shelby County by The Commercial Appeal. A graduate of Germantown High School, Gen. Weirich earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin, and a law degree from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. Gen. Weirich and her husband, Chuck, have four children and are members of St. Louis Catholic Church.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy received her undergraduate degree in economics and political science from the University of Michigan, and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Law. In 1984 she began her legal career at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and in 1989, she became the first African-American selected by the office as a Special Assignment Prosecutor.In 1994, Worthy was elected to the Detroit Recorder’s Court (now the Wayne County Circuit Court). During the next nine years, she presided over hundreds of serious felony cases and was re-elected to the court twice by overwhelming margins.On January 6, 2004, Worthy came full circle in her career and returned to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, this time as the Wayne County Prosecutor, the first African American and the first female to hold the position. Worthy is an adjunct professor of criminal law at the University of Detroit/Mercy and has lectured at Harvard Law School, the University of Notre Dame Law School, Wayne State University Law School and the Universite des Sciences Sociales in Toulouse, France. Ms. Worthy is the mother of Anastasia, 16, Anniston and Alessandra, 4.