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Asheley Van Ness

Pronouns: She/Her

Asheley has two decades of experience using research and evidence to inform and advance policy changes.

Asheley is an associate director in the Economics, Justice & Society department and the Center on Public Safety & Justice at NORC at the University of Chicago. As an associate director she works on cross-cutting initiatives to strengthen and grow the portfolio of work. Asheley brings a wealth of experience in leading strategic planning efforts and managing research initiatives within Economics, Justice & Society and the Center on Public Safety & Justice.

Prior to joining NORC, she served in multiple criminal justice and public safety leadership roles. 

From 2018 until she joined NORC in 2024, Asheley was director of criminal justice at Arnold Ventures, a national philanthropy focused on evidence-based solutions. During her tenure, she was responsible for developing strategies and investments to improve community safety. In that capacity, she developed and led a $20 million-dollar investment to support the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, including working across partisan divides to secure federal funding.

Before that, Asheley was the executive director of research operations at the New York City Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, where she developed and advanced research and evaluation strategies to inform city-wide criminal justice reform. Prior to her work in New York City, Asheley served as a management consultant at Civic Consulting Alliance, chief of staff at the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, and assistant to the mayor for public safety in the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office, where she helped to direct policy, operations, and strategy. Asheley has also held positions with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and the Urban Institute. 

Her writing and interviews have appeared in diverse outlets ranging from government policy briefs to publications such as Scientific American, Academy Health, Nature, the Houston Chronicle, and The Crime Report, among others.