Stephen V. Gies, Ph.D.

Steve is a Project Manager with extensive experience in program research and evaluation, data gathering, data analysis, database development, and report writing. He is the principal investigator of an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)–funded evaluation to assess safe harbor laws, and serves as the quality of research review manager for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidenced-based Programs and Practices.

Fran Harmon, Ph.D.

Fran is a Research Analyst with over 20 years of experience in substance abuse prevention and treatment and mental health promotion and treatment. She currently serves as a Scientific Review Coordinator for the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. She has conducted interviews for the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Pulse Check and managed multiple databases for SAMHSA’s Process and Outcome Evaluation Components for the Evaluation of the Model Projects for Pregnant and Postpartum Women and their Infants. Favorite quote: Dream until your dreams come true. – Steven Tyler

David Marsden

Dave Marsden has been involved in juvenile justice since 1970 when he began a career in juvenile justice as a Probation Officer with the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He directed OJJDP’s Targeted Community Action Planning (TCAP) initiative, which assisted localities around the country with suppression of serious and violent crime committed by their most difficult juvenile offender populations. In 2000 Gov. Jim Gilmore appointed him Chief Deputy and then Acting Director of the 2700 person Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. He was responsible for a budget of $235 million and the operation of 11 Juvenile Correctional Institutions and 31 Court Probation/Parole Units. He established a strategy for obtaining Federal reimbursement of administrative costs for foster care prevention, authored Virginia’s blended sentencing law and created a statewide video intake system. Mr. Marsden served 6 months in the administration of Gov. Mark Warner. Mr. Marsden was elected in 2005 to the Virginia House of Delegates and elected to the State Senate in 2010.

Sean Meredith, MBA

Sean is a Project Director on the Data Waiver Management Contract for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and is an expert in substance abuse treatment, and experience in performing a range of managerial functions for large contracts with complex activities. Through his leadership in prescription drug use, misuse, and abuse for the prescription drug contract, he frequently collaborated with other federal agencies such the National Institutes of Health NIH, the Food and Drug Administration FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Favorite quote: Live life to the fullest and live with no regrets! —Edith Meredith

Robin LaSota, Ph.D.

Robin is a Senior Research Scientist at DSG and has extensive experience as a mixed-methods researcher, program evaluator, and technical assistance provider in the field of education, human services, and youth development. She has performed research synthesis for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; research review and practice guide development for the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Review and Support for Post-Secondary Education, for the Institute of Education Sciences; and assistance with evidence-based repositories such as the National Institute of Justice’s

Favorite quote: You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…You must do the thing you cannot do.—Eleanor Roosevelt

Rachel Stephenson, M.A.

Rachel serves as the Project Director for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Model Programs Guide, an online database of over 260 evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. She also serves as the project director for the National Institute of Justice’s, an online database that uses rigorous research to inform practitioners and policymakers about evidence-based programs and practices in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. Prior to her work at DSG, she was a graduate intern with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and completed a year of service with the AmeriCorps*VISTA program.

Favorite quote: Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete. — Rod Sterling

Jennifer Grotpeter, Ph.D.

Jennifer is a Research Scientist with 25 years of experience conducting basic and applied research on aggression, violence, and delinquency with children and youth. At DSG, she serves as a Senior Research Analyst for She is also a Senior Research Analyst for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Model Programs Guide. She was formerly a research director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded National Center of Excellence: Denver Collaborative to Reduce Youth Violence. Favorite quote: We need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. – Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa


Scottie Whiteley, M.A.

Scottie is a DSG Deputy Project Director, working on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Youth Violence Prevention Training and Technical Assistance Project. She provides support on all aspects of the grant, including DSG’s comprehensive quarterly TTA strategy, efforts related to planning the Fifth National Summit on Preventing Youth Violence, maintaining current content of project databases, and coordinating quarterly YVP Site Director calls and bi-monthly small group TA calls. She has a master ‘s degree in forensic and Legal Psychology from Marymount University. During her graduate studies, Ms. Whiteley interned at Vera Institute of Justice and supported their nine-part juvenile justice briefing series on Capitol Hill.

Elizabeth Spinney

Elizabeth Spinney , MPP Elizabeth is DSG’s resident expert on disproportionate minority contact. She has contributed to numerous research projects, articles, and reports, and coordinated training and technical assistance for various juvenile justice, criminal justice, child welfare, and education projects. She currently serves as the Project Director for the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Technical Assistance to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System. A former volunteer for the Peace Corps , she worked with at-risk and systems-involved children through the Urban Youth Development program