Meet the Board

The DEC Executive Board is comprised of the Division’s current officers, immediate past Chair and three Executive Counselors. The Board forms policies for the Division, provides advice and decides the budget for the Division, and approve committee chairs. The Division Chair will convene the Executive Board.

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Dr. Barak Ariel, is a Reader in Experimental Criminology at University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the Jerry Lee Centre of Experimental Criminology.  He is also an Associate Professor in Criminology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.  Dr Ariel is involved in evaluation research projects with a large number of criminal justice agencies around the world. He is an advisor to several governments and police departments, including a Cross-Whitehall Trial Advice Panel, Uruguay Police, several forces in England and Wales, IBM and others. He is the recipient of the Academy of Experimental Criminology Young Experimental Scholar Award, European Society of Criminology Young Criminologist Award and other recognitions. Dr Ariel publishes in leading journals in criminology on various topics, including body worn videos (BWCs), hotspot policing, deterrence and technology in policing.

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Vice Chair

Jordan M. Hyatt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies, Drexel University. Hyatt’s research in corrections and reentry focuses on the evaluation of innovative criminal justice interventions with an emphasis on randomized experiments. Through the program assessments with strong partnerships with practitioners, Hyatt works to develop effective and actionable criminal justice policies. Hyatt’s work is relevant for agencies with policy agendas focused on improving reintegration, public safety, and implementing evidence-based policies.




Dr Mitchell has served in the Sacramento Police Department for twenty years and is currently a Police Sergeant. She holds a M.A., M.B.A., J.D. and a PhD in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. She was one of two 2009/2010 Fulbright Police Research Fellows. She is a cofounder and executive committee member of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing. She is a Police Foundation Fellow, a member of the George Mason Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame and a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. You can find her TEDx talks “Research not protests” and “Policing Needs to Change: Trust me I’m a Cop” online where she advocates for evidence-based policing.



Executive Counselor

Sarah Bennett, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Queensland. Her research interests include evidence-based policing, procedural justice and legitimacy, experimental criminology and police practices. These interests are interwoven within three research aims to 1) understand the role of protective and developmental risk factors in future life outcomes, 2) advance the role of police and police training in improving outcomes for victims, offenders and communities and 3) innovate and apply rigorous research methods in real world settings to inform policy and practice. Sarah has significant and internationally unique expertise in the application of complex randomised controlled trials in the UK and Australia within courts, prisons, schools and policing contexts working with relevant stakeholders to achieve project outcomes. Sarah is a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology (AEC). Sarah is invested in strong partnerships with industry to facilitate measureable and meaningful research outcomes.



Executive Counselor

Lacey Schaefer, PhD, is a senior lecturer at Griffith University's School of Criminology & Criminal Justice in  Queensland, Australia. She was formerly a postdoctoral research fellow in the Policing and Security program at the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Queensland. Her publications apply criminological theory to correctional interventions, examining the intersection of research and practice. Schaefer previously worked for the University of Cincinnati Policing Institute, exploring the impact of community efforts on crime reduction interventions and the disruption of offending pathways. Her current research explores the individual and community predictors of crime controller actions, outlining the processes associated with crime opportunity reduction.



Executive Counselor

Rylan Simpson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. He received his Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Prior to receiving his Ph.D., he received his B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of British Columbia and his M.A. in Social Ecology from UCI. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his policing scholarship and engagement with policing officials. He is also an executive counselor for the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Experimental Criminology, a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police’s Research Advisory Committee, and a mentor for the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing’s Virtual Scholar Program



Immediate Past Chair

Karen L. Amendola, PhD is Chief Behavioral Scientist at the Police Foundation where she has worked for over two decades. Karen earned her PhD in Psychology at George Mason University where she specialized in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and conducted research on mentoring relationships in organizations, general aviation and driving safety, and focused on the Assessment Center method for promoting (and hiring) public safety personnel. Her dissertation was entitled “Rationalized Justifications as Determinants of Permissive Attitudes and Unethical Conduct: Measurement and Validation.” Dr. Amendola and her colleagues were awarded the Outstanding Experimental Field Trial by the Division of Experimental Criminology in 2012 for their study on the impact of 8-, 10-, and 12-hour shifts in policing, and in which they found that the 10-hour shift offered advantages over 8-hour shifts (more sleep, less overtime worked) without the fatiguing impacts of 12-hour shifts. Karen’s primary research interests are in officer safety and wellness, mindfulness, and eyewitness identification, as well as hiring, promotional, and performance assessment procedures.