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In Memory of

Linda Harllee Harper

Founding Director

Linda Harllee Harper was a visionary leader in social and criminal justice. On February 17, 2021, Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed Linda as the city’s first Gun Violence Prevention Director and on February 9, 2023 she also appointed her as the Director of the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE). Previously she served as Senior Deputy Director to DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS)– the city’s cabinet level agency serving youth impacted by the DC Juvenile Justice System.  


Linda was born and raised in DC with an unapologetic love for the city, its rich history, and its residents.  She was a Youth, Criminal and Social Justice Reformer and an experienced advocate and champion of positive youth outcomes for court-involved youth and their families in the District of Columbia and nationally. An experienced proven leader and change agent in juvenile justice, criminal justice, public safety, and social services with over fifteen years of progressively growing experience shaping and managing public safety responses, restorative justice policies and youth development programs to improve the lives of our undervalued, underserved, and at-promise youth and their families. Linda moved between the non-profit and for-profit sectors, and government - either organizing for social change from the outside or reforming institutions, policies and practices from the inside. 

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