Public Safety and Legal Counsel

Governors legal counsel serve as senior staff, overseeing legal issues with legislation, policy, executive orders, administrative actions, and executive appointments. Additionally, Governors are focused on public safety, crime, delinquency and related social and economic consequences. NGA serves the needs of governors and their policy advisors in a broad range of criminal, sentencing, corrections and justice-related policies.


Meet the team

  • Ken Hardy, Program Director
  • Lauren Dedon, Senior Legal Policy Advisor
  • Erin Daneker, Policy Analyst
  • Maria Kearl, Policy Analyst
  • Camille Lodugnon, Policy Coordinator

NGA Public Safety & Legal Counsel networks

Governors Criminal Justice Policy Advisors Network

The Governors Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPAs) Network provides a forum for governors’ criminal and juvenile justice policy advisors to connect with their peers in other states, promote regional information sharing and collaboration, and learn about best practices and the latest research in the field. NGA convenes CJPAs for an annual institute and offers customized technical assistance to them as requested through research and strategic planning support.

Governors’ Legal Counsel

The Governors’ Legal Counsel Network is comprised of chief legal counsel, general counsel, and legal deputies to Governors. As part of this network, counsel have the unique opportunity to share best practices and legal lessons learned with peers across the nation. NGA convenes legal counsel on regular briefing calls, hosts counsel at an annual meeting, and provides ad hoc technical assistance and research support to the network on a vast array of legal and policy issues.

Consortium Of State Public Safety Executives

The Consortium of State Public Safety Executives is a network of cabinet-level secretaries and commissioners from across the country who are responsible for oversight of their state’s public safety enterprise, including state police, fire, corrections, emergency management and/or other related agencies. Members connect with their peers to share lessons learned, receive briefings from national experts on best practices and receive ongoing technical support from NGA staff.


Two More States Join Criminal Justice Reform Project

The National Governors Association (NGA), in partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association Center for Justice Planning, today announced that two additional states—Delaware and Vermont—have been selected to participate in the National Criminal ...

State Court Case Moves Online Sales Tax Reform One Step Closer to Resolution

WASHINGTON— Earlier today, South Dakota’s state circuit court found a law that would have allowed the state to collect sales tax from online retailers unconstitutional. Governors are not surprised by the ...

States Plan Data-Driven Criminal Justice Reform

Today the National Governors Association (NGA) announced that three states—Arizona, Illinois and Oregon—have been selected to participate in the National Criminal Justice Reform Project (NCJRP). In partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association ...

NGA, NCJA Launch State Criminal Justice Reform Initiative

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), through its Center for Justice Planning, today announced a joint initiative to support system-wide criminal justice reform in ...

NGA Center Releases Criminal Justice Guide For Governors

WASHINGTON—The majority of the U.S. prison population is housed in state prisons, which means governors have a unique role to play in shaping state corrections policies and criminal justice reform ...

A Governor’s Guide to Criminal Justice

Governors play a critical role in ensuring public safety and they oversee the state agencies responsible for implementing those policies and programs, such as corrections, state police, and juvenile justice ...

Testimony – Governor Markell D Block

Chairman Rockefeller, Ranking Member Hutchison and distinguished members of the committee, my name is Jack Markell, Governor of the state of Delaware and a member of the National Governors Association’s ...

Testimony – D Block Senate Commerce

On behalf of the nation’s governors, the National Governors Association (NGA) wishes to thank Chairman Rockefeller, Ranking Member Hutchison and the members of the Committee for examining how to best ...

Testimony – Tobacco Settlement

Chairman McCain, Senator Hollings, and members of the committee, my name is Ray Scheppach and I'm the Executive Director of the National Governors Association. Thank you for the opportunity to ...