Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice
Catherine Pierce currently serves as Acting Director of the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). She was designated as Acting Director of OVW by President Barack Obama on January, 20 2009. Prior to this appointment, she served as an OVW Deputy Director responsible for public outreach and communications and for launching OVW's Sexual Assault Services Program and the Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services Program. Ms. Pierce also served as Acting Director of OVW from January through October 2001. Since joining OVW in 1995 as one of its original founding staff members, Ms. Pierce was named Deputy Director in 1997. Her duties included developing new grant programs created by the Violence Against Women Act, creating OVW's technical assistance program, overseeing numerous demonstration initiatives, and implementing a comprehensive effort to measure the effectiveness of OVW's grant programs.
From 2005 to 2007, she held the position of Senior Advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State.
Before joining OVW, Ms. Pierce directed the “Summer of Safety” program, a predecessor to AmeriCorps, for the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1994 to 1995. Prior to that, she served as a deputy at the State Justice Institute (SJI) and oversaw the development of SJI's education and training initiatives. Before her work at SJI, she was actively involved in the field of criminal and juvenile justice addressing the differential treatment of women in prison and young women in the juvenile justice system; the quality of education provided to young men and women in juvenile correctional facilities; and the vital role the arts can play in the lives of young people.
Ms. Pierce has received numerous U.S. government awards, including a Special Commendation from the Office of Justice Programs in 2001. She also represented the Department of Justice as a civilian member of the Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence from 2000 to 2004.
Ms. Pierce received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has five grown children.