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Firearms Experts Available for Interview

RTI offers expertise across a range of topics impacted by firearm-related issues. Our experts include data scientists, psychologists, and subject matter experts with firsthand knowledge related to vulnerable and at risk populations including children and youth. To arrange an interview with our firearms experts, please contact news@rti.org.

Law enforcement community engagement: Duren Banks, PhD

Dr. Banks is the senior vice president for the Justice Practice Area at RTI. She provides her expertise to issues including strategies to promote transparency and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, particularly around officer use of force, criminal case processing, school safety, and improving school environments. She has served as chief of the Prosecution and Adjudication Statistics Unit of the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, overseeing multiple, national data collection projects related to the nation’s court system.

Learn More about Law enforcement community engagement: Duren Banks, PhD

Mental Health Focus: Anna Yaros, PhD

Dr. Yaros is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience providing mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. She also has contributed to  research that discusses prevention science and the use of crisis services.  

Learn More about Mental Health Focus: Anna Yaros, PhD

Criminal Justice Data: Michael Planty, PhD

Dr. Planty is the senior director for the Justice Practice Area at RTI where he leads research needs, technical assistance, and training across a range of topics related criminal victimization, police and criminal justice response, provision of victim services, and efforts related to crime prevention. Prior to RTI, he served as deputy director at the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, overseeing multiple national data collection projects on victimization and law enforcement issues.

Learn More about Criminal Justice Data: Michael Planty, PhD

School Safety: James Trudeau, PhD

Dr. Trudeau is a principal scientist with the Justice Practice Area at RTI, where he serves as the senior advisor for the STOP School Violence Program: Support of the North Carolina Center for Safer schools. He provides his expertise to issues including violence, the court system, sentencing, criminal behavior, and victimization.

Learn More about School Safety: James Trudeau, PhD

Structural violence and community impact: Stephanie Hawkins, PhD

Dr. Hawkins is vice president of the Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE), which conducts transformative research that leverages power, influence and resources to advance equity at RTI. Her extensive experience has included the impact of the juvenile justice system on men of color and structural violence. She is a youth, violence prevention, and health equity subject matter expert. She also was a recipient of the 2023 Triangle Business Journal Women in Business Award.

Learn More about Structural violence and community impact: Stephanie Hawkins, PhD

Vulnerable Populations: Josie Caves Sivaraman, PhD

Dr. Sivaraman is a research public health analyst at RTI. She is deeply interested in protective factors for firearm violence, particularly among vulnerable populations. She also can speak to issues regarding health care due to her background in nursing. She also has led and contributed to research initiatives on reducing firearm violence and advancing community safety

Learn More about Vulnerable Populations: Josie Caves Sivaraman, PhD

Law Enforcement Investigations: Kevin Strom, PhD

Dr. Strom is the director of the Center for Public Safety and Resilience at RTI. He currently leads the national Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Training and Technical Assistance project and the National Case Closed Project, an effort aimed at helping to improve law enforcement’s ability to successfully solve fatal and nonfatal shootings cases. 

Learn More about Law Enforcement Investigations: Kevin Strom, PhD

Educational and Academic Impact: Edna Wallace

Ms. Wallace is a K–12 and higher education expert with the Education and Workforce Development division at RTI. Prior to RTI, she was the senior director of policy and partnerships at NC New Schools, where she led the organization’s policy, advocacy, and strategic partnerships. She has advised school districts and state policymakers on teacher preparation, college and career readiness, and school accountability. Her current work focuses on evidence-based policies that improve teaching and learning.

Learn More about Educational and Academic Impact: Edna Wallace

Mass Shootings and Terrorism: Matthew DeMichele, PhD

Dr. DeMichele is the director of the Center for Criminal Legal System Research at RTI. His research interests include criminology, corrections, risk assessment, program evaluation, terrorism, and extremism. He conducts research for local, state, and federal governments as well as work for private foundations.

Learn More about Mass Shootings and Terrorism: Matthew DeMichele, PhD

Victimization and Victim Services: Lynn Langton, PhD

Dr. Langton is the director of the Victimization and Resilience Program at RTI. She serves as the co-principal investigator for Measuring the Impact of Victim Services: Developing the Victim Outcome and Satisfaction Survey Instrument and Platform, and as the co-principal investigator for a National Institute of Justice funded project that is a multilevel evaluation of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.

Learn More about Victimization and Victim Services: Lynn Langton, PhD