MacArthur Foundation

The Safety and Justice Challenge is a collaborative effort between the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and our many Partners and Allies. The MacArthur team provides strategic direction and messaging, makes final decisions regarding funding, and exercises grant-making authority. Learn more about MacArthur’s Criminal Justice Program.

Laurie R. Garduque

Laurie R. Garduque

Director, Criminal Justice

Since joining the Foundation in 1991, she has focused on advancing juvenile justice and criminal justice reforms. In this role, she led development of Models for Change, an initiative that worked with government officials, legal advocates, educators, community leaders, and families to make juvenile justice systems more fair, effective, rational, and developmentally appropriate. And more recently, she helped launch the Safety and Justice Challenge which gives support to local leaders from across the country to tackle the misuse and overuse of jails.

She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology and her PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

NeAngela Dixon

NeAngela Dixon

Program Officer

Erica Twyman

Erica Twyman

Administrator, Criminal Justice

Erica is the Administrator for Criminal Justice and works with the team on improving local justice systems and developing alternatives to jail incarceration. She also works directly with grantees, grants management and manages the program's budget.

Prior to joining the Criminal Justice team, Erica worked in Journalism and Media and on Special Initiatives, including Arts and Culture, New Ideas, and the Foundation's work on intellectual property in the public interest.

She holds a master's degree in Public Administration and an undergrad degree in Sociology from Roosevelt University and an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Governors State University.

Gabriela Suarez

Gabriela Suarez

Senior Grants Manager

Gabriela is currently a Senior Grants Manager. She works directly with programs and grantees in the administration of grants, including implementation and compliance. She previously served as a Program Administrator with several international programs at the Foundation. In that capacity, she was responsible for preparing and tracking multiple grant and administrative budgets and interfacing with the Foundation's country offices in India, Mexico and Nigeria.

Before joining the Foundation, Gabriela worked at the Adler Planetarium in the History of Astronomy Department.

Gabriela is fluent in Spanish and has an Associate's degree in Computerized Business Systems and Accounting from Robert Morris University and a Business Administration degree with a minor in Management from DePaul University.

Julian Williams

Julian Williams

Evaluation Officer

Julian supports all aspects of the Foundation’s evaluation activities. In collaboration with program teams, leadership, and external partners, he leads and facilitates evaluation design, implementation, and reporting. He also provides technical assistance to program teams.

Before joining the Foundation, Julian was Senior Partnerships Manager at the Partnership for College Completion (PCC), where he led a team that worked with Illinois’ colleges and universities to eliminate gaps in degree completion by race and socioeconomic status through equity-centered programming and coaching for administrators, staff, and faculty. Prior to PCC, he was CEO and Research Evaluation Consultant at Institution Builders, Inc., an independent consulting company that worked with nonprofits, government agencies, school districts, and foundations to improve important aspects of their work.

Julian has a PhD and MA in Educational Studies with a Concentration in Evaluation from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign as well as a BA in Educational Studies and in English Literature from Denison University. Julian is a proud Chicago Public Schools graduate, a Posse Scholar, a Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Fellow, and a Chicago Surge Fellow.

Julian is an advisory board member of the Pathways Initiative, a collaborative to strengthen the diversity of the Chicago area evaluation field by increasing the recruitment, training, and retention of culturally responsive and equity-focused evaluators of color in the Chicago region.

Bria L. Gillum

Senior Program Officer, Criminal Justice

Bria works with the Criminal Justice team and is focused on improving local justice systems and developing alternatives to jail incarceration.

Bria joined the Foundation after serving as a Senior Attorney Advisor for the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a legal and policy advisor to the Chair and the Commissioners, Bria was responsible for developing policy initiatives focused on equal pay and religious discrimination and conducted outreach on Equal Employment Opportunity laws. She previously served in President Barack Obama's White House Domestic Policy Council and helped implement the Administration's policies on criminal justice reform, equal pay, and Native American affairs. She leveraged her law and social policy expertise to coordinate with federal agencies, academics, and the private and philanthropic sectors on some of the Administration's key civil rights initiatives, including convenings on reentry and employment and school discipline, organizing the White House Tribal Nations Conference, and administering executive actions on equal pay. Prior to the Obama Administration, Bria served as a law clerk to Judge Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Bria received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, and a law degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

Nida Abbasi

Program Officer

Nida works with the Criminal Justice team, which prioritizes grantmaking to reduce incarceration and racial disparities in jails across the country.

Prior to joining MacArthur, Nida was the Associate Director of Court and Community Initiatives at the Center for Justice Innovation in New York City. There, she guided the planning and implementation of several national technical assistance programs designed to transform justice system responses to gender-based violence. Previously, she served clients on domestic violence and family law cases at the Legal Aid Society in Chicago. Nida also worked on legal and policy reform at the University of Cape Town’s Gender, Health & Justice Research Unit.

Nida earned a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School.

Coralie Bauduy

Coordinator, Criminal Justice

Coralie is the newest member of the Criminal Justice team. She is the Coordinator, providing support for the team by organizing meetings, overseeing travel arrangements, and managing schedules and other logistical matters. Coralie also helps proofread and edit most of the team’s documents. Before joining the Criminal Justice team, she worked in a similar role with the Nuclear Challenges program.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Coralie worked briefly as a Development Program Associate for the American Technion Society, and prior to that, she spent 10 years at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, as a French Translator and Senior Administrative Assistant.

Coralie holds a Master’s in Gothic Literature and Psychoanalysis from the University of Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Maria Speiser

Communications Officer

Maria collaborates with program staff to create and implement communications strategies for the Foundation's work on Criminal Justice and Nuclear Challenges.

Maria joined the Foundation after seven years at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an organization dedicated to developing smart public policies that fight poverty and strengthen safety net programs. At the Center, Maria helped coordinate and advance the organization's network of state affiliates, the State Priorities Partnership. She led efforts to communicate the network's impact and worked closely with member organizations to strengthen their communications strategy and messaging. Before joining the Center, Maria spent six years working on Capitol Hill in the communications offices of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

She is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia.