President’s Biography

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Jeremy Travis
President
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Jeremy Travis is the fourth President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. Under his leadership, John Jay has been transformed into a senior college offering a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts program with new majors in Economics, Philosophy, Global History, Law and Society, Political Science, English and Gender Studies. The College expanded its Graduate Programs and is poised to launch John Jay Online. Since his appointment in 2004, President Travis has increased baccalaureate freshman enrollment by 58% and expanded full time faculty from 338 to 421. Over that time, John Jay College’s external funding for faculty research has tripled. President Travis also launched the College’s first capital campaign for $50 million, which will meet its goal ahead of schedule. Since 2005 Travis has served as a member of The Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council and was named Chair of that Committee in 2012. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Urban Institute. President Travis also served as Chair of the Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice, appointed by New York Governor David A. Paterson, culminating in the Task Force report recommending significant changes to the state’s juvenile justice system.

Prior to his appointment, President Travis served four years as a Senior Fellow affiliated with the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, where he launched a national research program focused on prisoner reentry into society. From 1994-2000, Travis directed the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. Nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate, Travis reinvigorated the agency and established major initiatives to assess crime trends, evaluate federal anti-crime efforts, advance forensic sciences, and bolster research on counter-terrorism strategies.

Prior to his service in Washington, Travis was Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) from 1990-1994; Chief Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice in 1990, chaired by then-Rep. Charles E. Schumer; Special Advisor to New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch from 1986-89; and Special Counsel to the Police Commissioner of the NYPD from 1984-86.

Before joining city government, Travis served as law clerk to then-U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, currently a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, and was the Marden and Marshall Fellow in Criminal Law at New York University School of Law. Travis was Executive Director of the New York City Criminal Justice Agency from 1977-79 and served six years at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he managed demonstration programs on bail reform, judicial decision making and victim-witness assistance. He began his career in criminal justice working as a legal services assistant for the Legal Aid Society, New York’s indigent defense agency.

Travis has taught courses on criminal justice, public policy, history and law at Yale College, New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York Law School, George Washington University, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the author of But They All Come Back: Facing the Challenges of Prisoner Reentry (Urban Institute Press, 2005), co-editor (with Christy Visher) of Prisoner Reentry and Crime in America (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and co-editor (with Michelle Waul) of Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families, and Communities (Urban Institute Press, 2003). He has published numerous book chapters, articles and monographs on constitutional law, criminal law and criminal justice policy.

Mr. Travis has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field of criminal justice, including the American Society of Criminology’s August Vollmer Award, the Gerhard O.W. Muller Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Margaret Mead Award from the International Community Corrections Association. He earned a JD, cum laude, from the New York University School of Law, and an MPA from the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He received a BA, cum laude, in American Studies from Yale College.