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Criminal Justice Alum John Laub Tapped to Head National Institute of Justice

July 16, 2010

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UAlbany alum and Director of the National Institute of Justice John H. Laub

University at Albany alum and director of the National Institute of Justice John H. Laub.

For more than 40 years, UAlbany's School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) has boasted nationally recognized faculty, ground-breaking research and accomplished alumni. The tradition continued when President Obama nominated a new director for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). He chose Distinguished University Professor John H. Laub of the University of Maryland, College Park, who received his doctoral degree in criminal justice from UAlbany in 1980.

When nominating Dr. Laub and nine others to their respective positions, President Obama said, "These men and women bring with them a wealth of experience and talent, and I am grateful for their willingness to commit themselves to public service. I look forward to working with them in these important roles in the coming months and years."

The U.S. Senate confirmed Laub as the new director for NIJ in June. He joins several UAlbany alums currently serving in the Obama Administration, including Secretary of the Army John McHugh, M.P.A. '77, deputy secretary of transportation John Porcari, M.P.A. '77, assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice Christine Varney, B.A. '78, and coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs Bonnie Jenkins, M.P.A. '88. The quartet of Rockefeller College graduates were appointed in 2009.

After its founding in 1968, SCJ achieved almost instantaneous recognition and quickly began attracting exceptional students with its novel interdisciplinary approach and pre-eminent faculty. The School became the first doctoral-granting criminal justice program in the nation. Its curriculum has been emulated by many of the doctoral programs founded since then.

Today, the School continues to be recognized for academic excellence and scholarly research. It is ranked No. 2 by U.S. News and World Report for doctoral programs in criminology. Laub's achievement further bolsters this sterling reputation.

"On behalf of the School of Criminal Justice community, I am honored to congratulate John on this historic appointment," said Dean Alan Lizotte. "We are proud to call him one of our own, and we are sure he will continue to accomplish great things in the months and years ahead."

Laub, a distinguished professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Maryland, is the first criminologist in four decades to serve as director of NIJ. He also is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. His areas of research include crime and deviance over the life course, juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice, and the history of criminology. He has published widely and has won three major book awards for his work.

The National Institute of Justice is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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