Meena Harris is an executive vice president of the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) and Director of the National Gang Center (NGC). She currently supervises the Gang Programs Group, which includes the NGC—operated for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). She is also responsible for the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) National Program Office, for which IIR provides administrative and logistical support. Ms. Harris has been with IIR for almost 5 years and has over 20 years of experience in youth violence prevention, safe schools climate, substance abuse prevention, and criminal gang-related topics.
Prior to joining IIR, Ms. Harris served as the Gang and Prevention Programs Coordinator for the Florida Office of the Attorney General (OAG), where she coordinated the Florida Gang Reduction Strategy. In this capacity, she was responsible for organizing seven regional gang reduction task forces, designing and compiling four annual OAG Statewide Gang Survey Reports, providing task force coordination and multiagency project management, and providing training for the Florida Crime Prevention Institute on the topic of Gang Violence and Victimization. Ms. Harris also has 28 years of experience in survey design and implementation, program evaluation, safe schools climate consulting, curriculum revision, and state- and federally funded program monitoring.
She holds a master of arts degree in sociology from Florida State University and a bachelor of arts degree from George Mason University in Virginia.