​​The Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services oversees and manages the functions of the Department of Juvenile Services. ​​

Vincent ​Schiraldi

Vincent Schiraldi

Since 2023, Vincent Schiraldi has been Secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

Vincent Schiraldi is a national leader in criminal/juvenile justice and mass incarceration reform, a field he has worked in for more than four decades. He previously served as Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Correction​, and before that Columbia University, where he served as Senior Research Scientist at the Columbia School of Social Work and co-Director of the Columbia Justice Lab, working to reduce the footprint and negative impact of community corrections, eliminate youth prisons, and create a developmentally appropriate response to offending by young adults. Mr. Schiraldi went to Columbia from the Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice where he was a Senior Researcher. Mr. Schiraldi also has extensive government experience in criminal and juvenile justice. While Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Correction, he attempted to close Riker’s Island and end the practice of solitary confinement. Mr. Schiraldi also served as director of juvenile corrections in Washington DC, as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation, and as Senior Policy Adviser to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. He also pioneered efforts at community-based alternatives to incarceration in NYC and Washington DC as founder and executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and Justice Policy Institute, respectively. Schiraldi has lectured at the Columbia University School of Social Work, Harvard Law School, NYU School of Social Work, San Francisco University, and the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. Schiraldi received a Master’s in Social Work from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University.​

Office of the Secretary

Marc Schindler​
Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff

Marc Schindler

Marc Schindler is the Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff. In this capacity, he works directly with the Secretary of DJS to advise on and implement initiatives, reforms and policies that are designed to improve the lives of youth in Maryland and move the agency forward. Marc comes to DJS with extensive and varied experience in the youth justice field, including as an attorney, public administrator, grant maker, advocate, and researcher. He comes to DJS after serving 10 years as the Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a national research and policy organization with expertise in juvenile and criminal justice issues. JPI has worked extensively in Maryland, issuing more than 20 reports on various justice issues in the state, including documenting the state’s extreme racial disparities in young people incarcerated in the state’s prisons. Marc also worked from 2005-2010 at the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) where he served as General Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Interim Director, helping to lead the agency’s reform efforts. In addition, he worked for almost a decade as a staff attorney with the Youth Law Center, a national civil rights law firm advocating on behalf of children and youth in juvenile justice and child welfare systems across the country. Marc began his legal career in Maryland, serving as a public defender representing children in Baltimore’s juvenile court in the 1990s.

Visit the Office of the Chief of Staff​​ page​ for more information.

Adina Levi
​Acting Deputy Secretary of Residential Services

Adina Levi

Adina Levi is the Acting Deputy Secretary of Residential Services. Adina has a Bachelor of Sociology Degree with a minor in Urban Policy studies and a Master of Community Counseling Degree from Roosevelt University. She has served in executive positions in both the public and private sectors. Adina previously worked at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), serving as the Chief Program Manager for Community Programs before being promoted to Deputy Director of Secure Programs. She also served as​ Executive Director at Recovery Centers of America, overseeing the operations of the 140-bed residential and outpatient substance use treatment facility in the state of Maryland.​

​​​Visit the Residential Services Division page for more information.

Lisa Garry
Deputy Secretary of Community Services

Lisa Garry

Lisa M. Garry serves as Deputy Secretary of Community Services for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS), which oversees Pre-Adjudication Services, Community Supervision, and the Resource Office​.

Lisa has an extensive work portfolio that combines public sector, community, and independent consulting experience. Prior to joining DJS, Lisa served as a Policy Director with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) in Washington, DC. Her work on racial disparities in the juvenile justice system has been recognized by both the MacArthur Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation with the 2012 DMC Champion of Change Award and the 2017 JDAI Distinguished System Leadership Award respectively.

Lisa earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Baltimore, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Visit the Community Services page​ for more information.

Tiffani Johnson
​Deputy Secretary of Support Services

Tiffani Johnson

Tiffani Johnson is the ​Deputy Secretary of Support Services, which oversees crucial units within our Department, including Human Resources, Procurement, Contracts, Maintenance, General Services (Fleet/Inventory), and the newly established Auxiliary Fiscal Services (Travel, Corporate Purchase Card Program, FMIS Functional Coordinator, Vendor Services, and Tuition Reimbursement), Information Technology, Capital Planning and Budgeting, and Budget and Fiscal Services​.

With over 15 years of experience in executive financial roles, a distinguished leadership background in the United States Military and 11 years with DJS, Tiffani brings a wealth of expertise to this new role. She has led a team of 400 individuals dedicated to advancing the mission of reintegrating youth involved in the juvenile justice system back into their homes and communities within the Human Resources, Procurement, Contract Management, General Services, Maintenance, Auxiliary Unit, and previously the Budget and Finance unit. Previously, Tiffani worked in Pennsylvania for Vision Quest and a youth community program which is now YAP, and then went to the U.S. Army.

Tiffani holds a dual MBA in Organizational Leadership and Design and Finance along with a Masters in Management and Bachelors with a concentration in HR from Colorado Technical University. Tiffani has earned her Contract Management Certification from MDOT as well as her CMPA for the State of Maryland Procurement Academy. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS); CTU Chapter. She has earned her certification from the State of Maryland MPCTC to be a State of Maryland Adjunct Trainer.

Visit the Support Division page​ for more information.

David Domenici​
Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of Education

David Domenici

As Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of Education, David Domenici advises the Secretary and leadership team on education issues. He will also work in partnership with JSEP Superintendent Kim Pogue, to provide outstanding educational opportunities for all young people who come into contact with DJS, both within our facilities and in the community. The Education Transition Unit will also be under the Director of Education. Domenici has a wealth of experience in education for youth in the juvenile justice system, where he has become a nationally recognized leader on these issues. Domenici co-founded and served as the Executive Director of The Maya Angelou Schools, a network of alternative schools in Washington, D.C. He also served from 2007 to 2011 as the founding principal of the Maya Angelou Academy, the widely acclaimed school located inside the New Beginnings Youth Development Center, D.C.’s long-term, secure juvenile facility. Domenici left the Academy in 2011 to form BreakFree Education, a national non-profit organization created to radically improve education in the juvenile and criminal justice systems by investing in the potential and dignity of all of its students. BreakFree works with juvenile justice agencies and their education partners across the country, and operates the Travis Hill Schools, located inside of the juvenile detention center and adult jail in New Orleans​​​​.

Yahya Al-Mustafaa Madyun​
​Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Positive Youth Development

Yahya Al-Mustafaa Madyun

As Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Yahya Al-Mustafaa Madyun is responsible for advising the Secretary, senior leadership, and staff throughout the agency on strategies and practices to ensure that DJS’ work is fully consistent with and supportive of the principles of Positive Youth Development (PYD). This strength-based approach underscores DJS’s emphasis on providing a broad and deep range of positive services, supports, opportunities, and role models. This position provides executive leadership and managerial guidance and direction to DJS, particularly in the areas of training and professional development, in achieving this goal.

Yahya Al-Mustafaa Madyun is a dedicated Youth Development and Adult Education expert and facilitator of the nationally recognized Advancing Youth Development Curriculum for Youth Workers (AYD). Mustafaa has extensive experience working with young people as an educator and youth development practitioner. He served as the Assistant Director of the Center for 4-H and Youth Development at the University of the District of Columbia. Previously, as Program Director of DC BEST (Building Exemplary Systems for Training Youth Workers) for the DC Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation he trained over 3000 youth program professionals for various organizations and agencies including schools, social services, juvenile justice, recreation, and community-based organizations locally and nationally. Mustafaa has a wealth of experience promulgating and synthesizing all aspects of youth work and ensuring constructive continuity in the field. His ability to critically think about field-​related practices and competencies has positioned him to effectively advocate and advance the field to a diverse population. He specializes in program improvement through consultation, trainings, technical assistance, and workshops. Mustafaa holds a Master of Science Degree in Youth Development Leadership from Clemson University; a Master of Arts in Adult Education, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from the University of the District of Columbia. Mustafaa is a native Washingtonian and parent of five children.

David Brown
Senior Advisor to the Secretary​

David Brown

David Brown is a Senior Advisor to the Secretary. David has had a distinguished career in youth work, serving as a non-profit executive, public administrator, policy analyst, grant maker, and advocate, with significant and varied experiences at the local, state, and national level in youth development, juvenile justice, workforce development, education, organizational development, and financial, budget, personnel, and contract management. David comes to us after serving for over 11 years as a Senior Fellow and Associate in the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. David’s prior experience includes serving as Deputy Director of the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). At DYRS, he was responsible for overseeing residential and community-based programs and services for nearly 1,000 committed and detained youth in the District’s care and custody. While with DYRS, he led the development of a new case-planning process and a comprehensive community-based continuum of care that included evidence-based practices and a menu of services, supports, and opportunities grounded in positive youth development, including a range of workforce development programs. Before joining DYRS, David worked at the national level as the executive director of the National Youth Employment Coalition and as a senior policy analyst with the National Governors’ Association (NGA), where he focused on youth policy issues, ​including youth employment, career education, juvenile justice, and national and community service. Prior to joining NGA, David served as a Government Relations Specialist for DJS from 1989–1992. David earned a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Baruch College in New York, which he attended as a National Urban Fellow, and a B.S. in Political Science and Urban Affairs from American University in Washington, DC.​​​

Seema Gajwani
Executive Director, Communities Investment Initiative (CII)

Seema Gajwani

Seema Gajwani is the Executive Director of the Communities Investment Initiative (CII). She most recently was Special Counsel for Juvenile Justice Reform and Chief of the Restorative Justice Program Section at the D.C. Office of the Attorney General. Prior to this position, Seema ran the Criminal Justice Program at the Public Welfare Foundation in Washington, D.C., funding efforts to improve criminal and juvenile justice systems across the country, with a focus on pretrial detention reform and prosecutorial culture change. Seema started her career as a trial attorney at the D.C. Public Defender Service representing juvenile and adult defendants for six years. She was chosen as a 2019 Obama Fellow for her work on restorative justice, and was awarded the ABA’s 2022 Crime Victim Attorney Award. Seema is a graduate of Northwestern University and the New York University School of Law.

Evette Jackson
Executive on Loan, Project Manager for Communities Investment Initiative (CII)

Evette Jackson is an Executive on Loan from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is serving as DJS’ Project Manager for the Communities Investment Initiative (CII)​. Evette’s career in child- and family-serving systems informs her work as a Casey senior associate currently on loan to DJS. Jackson served on the Casey team working with Philadelphia’s child welfare system. There much of her work focused on resource development, including the implementation of evidence-based and promising practices, and internal and external communications with various stakeholders working to reduce the use of group placements from 24% to 13%. Jackson served as team lead in Denver, Colorado to support their implementation of a teen diversion program; and in Louisiana to improve outcomes of older youth.

Prior to her work at Casey, Evette held a variety of leadership positions in large public and private agencies as a manager, consultant, and technical assistance provider. For the District of Columbia’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, she managed the Office of Education and Workforce Development, served as special assistant to the deputy director and was director of behavioral health. As a consultant, she helped solidify cross-agency relationships, address CFSR concerns regarding dual- system involved children, develop Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care and Multisystemic Therapy and introduced a lead agency approach to community–based services, supports and opportunities for juvenile justice involved youth. She also served as director of community services for a public, outpatient mental health agency and director of program operations for D.C.’s largest not-for-profit behavioral healthcare provider. Evette has an MHA from Cornell University and a BS in Business Management from Maryland’s Bowie State University.

Tiana Davis
Executive Director, Office of Equity & Inclusion

Tiana Davis

Tiana Davis serves as Executive Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS). Her role is to operationalize principles of institutional fairness and equity in agency decision making, and to provide state-level oversight of equity initiatives statewide. The office includes family engagement, community and youth engagement, and victim services.

Tiana is a proud native of Baltimore and comes to us after serving as Policy Director of Equity and Diversion at the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP). In this capacity, Tiana worked with national, state, and local leaders to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in the youth justice system. Prior to joining CCLP, Tiana served as the Director of Community Programming for the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice in Baltimore City, Maryland. Prior to her time with the Mayor’s Office, Tiana served as the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Coordinator for Baltimore County, where she worked intensively with a group of local stakeholders to address racial disparities in the juvenile justice system. Tiana earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Visit the Office of Equity and Inclusion​ for more in​formation.

Kara Aanenson
Director of Legislation​​, ​Policy​, and Reform ​&
Executive Director, Resource Office

Kara Aanenson

Kara Aanenson is the Director of Legislation, Policy, and Reform for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. In that role, she serves as part of the DJS executive leadership team and manages the Department's governmental relations, as well as assisting staff in meeting policy objectives consistent with state and federal law.

The Executive Director of the Resource Office for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) manages the department in and out of state residential providers as well as the community-based services. The unit ensures ​​that the department maintains a continuum of services that meets the needs of youth that come in contact with the justice system.

Prior to joining DJS, Kara served as the Director of the Just Kids Campaign at Community Law in Action, where she partnered with directly impacted young people to stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults.​ She also was a social worker at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender where she worked in the legislative unit and developed alternative dispositions and sentencing plans for youth in adults.

Kara earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work from Wartburg College located in Waverly, IA.

John Irvine
Director, Office of Research and Evaluation

John Irvine

John Irvine serves as Director of the Office of Research and Evaluation. The Office helps ensure that the Department’s policies, programs, strategic plans, assessment, and initiatives are well supported by timely and accurate data, analysis, and research. The Office creates management, evaluation, and outcome reports for DJS leadership and key stakeholders, and partners with university researchers on in-depth research and evaluation projects. The office produces the DJS Data Resource guide - a benchmark, all-encompassing annual report on DJS youth and programs.

John began his State career in 1997 at the Department of Human Services as a policy analyst specializing in strategic planning and performance measurement. He developed DHS DataStat, an early State agency-level executive performance review, and worked with local DSS offices in successfully applying for Malcolm Baldrige Quality Awards. John has been with DJS for twenty years, starting as Assistant Director, and has been Director of Research and Evaluation since 2005. He earned a BA in philosophy from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Eric Solomon
Director of Communications

Eric Solomon

Eric Solomon serves as the Director of Communications and the official spokesperson for the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS). Solomon develops and oversees all internal and external communications strategies, responds to the media, Public Information Act requests, crisis situations, and regularly coordinates messaging with the Governor’s Office and oversees the Special Projects and Website team. Solomon has spoken at many conferences about the importance of media relations in the juvenile justice field and in 2013, he was instrumental in receiving Best in Maryland honors from the Public Relations Society of America for DJS-TV.

Solomon has more than 30 years of Communications experience and has worked for DJS for more than seven years. Prior to his experience with the State, he worked for the Howard County Council and also for a national non-profit to keep youth under the age of 18 years old out of the adult criminal justice system. He was the recipient of two Golden Thinker Awards from the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS), for 282 and 191 placements of juvenile justice TV stories. Solomon is a graduate from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.

Tonya Allen
Executive Assistant​​ for the Secretary & Assistant Secretary/Chief of Staff

Tonya Allen

Tonya Allen is the Executive Assistant​​ for the Secretary & Assistant Secretary/Chief of Staff. ​Prior to joining DJS, Tonya served as a Judicial Assistant to two federal judges on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She also served as the Chief of Staff/Chief Operations Officer in the Baltimore City Solicitor’s office. Tonya earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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