Executive Director, Coalition for Public Safety
Christine Leonard is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Public Safety, the nation's largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system at the federal, state and local levels. Leonard brings 15 years of experience working to improve the country’s justice system from both the executive and the legislative branches of the federal government - in addition to corporate and nonprofit experience. From her past roles in the White House, Senate, and the House, she has a solid record of legislative accomplishments that resulted in meaningful reform of the criminal justice system. An attorney, she is an expert in legislative policy and well-versed in finding common ground with parties from diverse perspectives and interests.
Most recently, Christine led the DC office of the Vera Institute for Justice, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to using research and innovation to make justice systems fairer and more effective.
Previously, as the Director of Legislative Affairs in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Christine developed and implemented strategies to advance key legislative priorities with relevant congressional committees and oversaw all agency communications with Congress during the first years of President Obama’s administration.
She also served as senior counsel to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) where she worked on range of criminal justice issues, including legislation relating to juvenile justice, sentencing reform, prison conditions, national security and intellectual property. Christine also advised Congressman William D. Delahunt (D-MA), working as his counsel on matters pending before the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Earlier in her career, she served on the staff of Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) during his first term in Congress.
As a litigation associate at Holland & Knight in Boston, she represented individual and corporate clients that were the subject of criminal investigations or civil enforcement proceedings, including cases involving allegations under the False Claims Act. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts.
Christine holds a B.A. in international studies from Boston College and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. With her husband, she is the proud parent of three active sons.