Office of the Chief of Staff

​The Office of the Chief of Staff, headed by Joseph Cleary, oversees the following departments:

  • Office of Communications (Director - Eric Solomon)
  • Office of Equity and Inclusion (Executive Director - Lisa Garry)
  • Office of Fair Practices (Acting Director - Sherrie Howell)
  • Office of the Inspector General (Inspector General - Robin Brady-Slifer)
  • Office of Minority Business ​​Enterprises (Manager - Nicole Bohanan)​

Joseph Cleary
Chief of Staff

Joseph Cleary

Jay Cleary serves as the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS). In this capacity, he works directly with the Secretary of DJS to implement initiatives, reforms and policies that are designed to improve the lives of youth in Maryland and move the agency forward. He supports and advises the Secretary on the functions of the agency.

Cleary joined DJS in 2009 to serve as the agency's Director of Communications and was promoted to Chief of Staff in 2012. He earned his Political Science degree from Villanova University in 1998 and graduated cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2002.​​

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.

Lisa Garry
Executive Director, Office of Equity & Inclusion

Lisa Garry

Lisa M. Garry 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.

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


Sherrie Howell​
Acting Director, Office of Fair Practices

Sherrie T. Howell is the Acting Director of the Office of Fair Practices and Equal Employment Opportunity. This office provides oversight and coordination of all federal and state equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies. Sherrie has more than 25 years of EEO experience. She came to her current position as Acting Director of the Office of Fair Practices after serving for two and a half years as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer under the previous Director of Fair Practices.​​

Sherrie​ is a 1992 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she also obtained her Master's Degree in Legal and Ethical Studies in 1985. She completed her undergraduate studies at Frostburg State University in 1983. She came to ollege and High School levels.

Robin Brady-Slifer​
Inspector General​

Robin Brady-Slifer​

Robin Brady-Slifer monitors all DJS-operated facilities and DJS-licensed programs both in-state and out-of-state as well as DJS's internal operations. The Office of the Inspector General is charged with investigating all incidents that occur in any program with DJS youth. The Inspector General directly supervises the Office of Internal Auditing, Office of Quality Assurance, Investigative Unit, Gang Intelligence and the Office of Child Advocacy.​​​​​​​

Nicole Bonahan​
Manager, Office of Minority Business Enterprises​​

Nicole Bohanan has served as the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS), Social-Economic Preference Program Manager since 2018. The social-economic preference program gives small, minority, women and veteran-owned businesses economic access to state contracts. The program includes the state of Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) procurement programs. She ensures DJS follows the laws and policies established by the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs​, and the Maryland Office of State Procurement​.

She has over 26 years of service and over 22 years with human service agencies with the Maryland State Government. She has an MBA from the University of Maryland, Global Campus, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Human Trafficking GET HELP

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 24/7 Confidential

1-888-373-7888 233733 More Information on human trafficking in Maryland

Customer Service Promise

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with friendly and courteous, timely and responsive, accurate and consistent, accessible and convenient, and truthful and transparent services.

Take Our Survey

Help Stop Fraud in State Government

The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits operates a toll-free fraud hotline to receive allegations of fraud and/or abuse of State government resources. Information reported to the hotline in the past has helped to eliminate certain fraudulent activities and protect State resources.

More Information