Karen Amendola, Ph.D.

Karen L. Amendola has over two decades of experience in public safety research, testing, training, technology, and assessment. With the Police Foundation for over 20 years, Dr. Amendola currently serves as the Chief Behavioral Scientist. Amendola earned both her Ph.D. and M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from George Mason University, as well as an M.A. in Human Resources Management from Webster University. Karen has worked with dozens of local, state, and federal agencies. Dr. Amendola was Associate Editor for Psychology and Law for the ten-volume Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice published by Springer Verlag, New York (2014).

In addition, Dr. Amendola was the lead investigator of a study of eyewitness identification case outcomes. A series of articles on that research and it’s outcomes were publishied in the esteemed Journal of Experimental Criminology (Amendola & Wixted, June, 2015). With her colleagues, Amendola’s recent work “An experimental study of compressed work schedules in policing: advantages and disadvantages of various shift lengths” was also published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology and was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Field Trial by the Division of Experimental Criminology of the American Society of Criminology (a synopsis of the Shift Length Experiment is available online).
Dr. Amendola is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Psychological Association, American Society of Criminology, and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and served over five years on the Scientific Review Committee of the National Center for Credibility Assessment (at the time called the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute).

Most recently Karen served as Chair of the National Partnership for Careers in Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security, and as a member of the research advisory board of the Innocence Project in New York.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Shift scheduling practices
  • Officer Safety, Health, and Wellness
  • Evaluation of Evidence
  • Hiring, Selection, and Promotion
  • Eyewitness Identification Procedures
  • Organizational Culture
  • Applied Psychology in Policing
  • Performance Measurement
  • Psychology and Law

Curriculum Vitae


Rob Davis

Robert C. Davis is the Police Foundation’s Chief Social Scientist. He has 30 years of experience in criminal justice research and evaluation, and was the Foundation’s research director from 2003-2006. Davis returned to the Foundation after working as a senior research associate at the Rand Corporation and as research director for the Police Executive Research Forum.

Davis has directed more than 35 projects on victimization, domestic violence, policing, crime prevention, immigration, courts, prosecution, and parolee reentry for federal and state governments, and private foundations. He has led projects with some of the nation’s leading law enforcement agencies.

At the Police Executive Research Forum and the Rand Corporation, Davis led research projects spanning areas from victimization to policing to transitional security. Projects included assessing factors that affect the solvability of homicide and sexual assault cold cases, conducting a national evaluation of victim’s rights clinics, identifying successful strategies to promote sustainability of justice reform programs, and creating a leadership training institute for the Dallas Police Department. He completed projects on subjects ranging from a review of international best practices in police performance measurement to an assessment of how to best oversee police in the nation of Liberia.

While research director with the Police Foundation, Davis led a project assessing the preparedness of retail shopping malls to a potential terrorist attack, and a review of the effect of intervention efforts in preventing a repeat of domestic violence.

He was a senior research associate at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York from 1998-2003. He led a project for the New York Police Department that surveyed more than 5,000 citizens each month in order to develop measures of citizen satisfaction with police interactions that could be used to hold precinct commanders accountable for service to the public. An expert in victims’ rights issues, Davis worked in a series of positions serving victims for nearly 20 years at the Vera Institute, for New York City, and for the American Bar Association.

He is the editor of the widely used book Victims of Crime, which is in its fourth edition. He has authored two books on crime prevention, is the editor of six books on crime prevention and victimization, and is the author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters.

Davis received a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in experimental psychology from the University of Wisconsin.


Julie Grieco, Ph.D.

Julie Grieco is a Senior Research Associate at the Police Foundation. Her research interests include the individual determinants of adoption of evidence-based practices, public opinion of the police, and the translation of research knowledge for everyday use by practitioners. Julie received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2007 and her M.A. in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University in 2008. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University in Summer 2016.

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Garrett Johnson

Garrett Johnson joined the Police Foundation in 2017 as a Project Coordinator. A University Scholar from George Mason University, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs, with minors in Criminology and Spanish. Garrett previously interned with the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (OIA). There, he prepared case summaries and bilingual legal documents to share between the United States and South America regarding criminal cases and extradition agreements.


Kalani Johnson

Kalani Johnson is a Project Associate at the Police Foundation. Kalani is completing her Master’s thesis in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she also completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Criminology/Criminal Justice, with a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. She has worked on a few research projects in areas such as community policing, social class formation, and domestic violence. Kalani’s research interests include social stratification, policing, and victimization.


Terri Robbins

Terri joined the Police Foundation as a Project Coordinator in November 2017. Her primary project is the National Law Enforcement Applied Research and Data Platform (or, the Platform). She received her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven and her Bachelor of Science from Penn State University. Prior to joining the Police Foundation, she completed a Crime Analysis internship through the Alexandria Police Department where she earned a Silver President’s Volunteer Service Award. She also acted as a Research Assistant for a project that evaluated several departments’ adjustments to a community problem-solving approach.


Maria Valdovinos

Ms. Valdovinos comes to the Police Foundation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where she served as a research fellow and provided research, analytical, and project management support to projects addressing issues such as targeted violence on college campuses and law enforcement officer wellness. At the Foundation, Ms. Valdovinos has worked on a number of projects addressing a wide range of topics such as eyewitness identification procedures, procedural justice, and the use of UAS technology in law enforcement.

Ms. Valdovinos earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Civilization from Northwestern University. A fluent Spanish speaker, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Sociology and is very interested in the role of police in society, and the complexities underlying the American criminal justice system.


Heather Vovak, Ph.D.

Heather Vovak is a Senior Research Associate at the Police Foundation. She previously worked on several federally and privately funded research projects in policing at the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University. Her research interests include police investigations, technologies in policing, crime rate and clearance rate trends, and she specializes in group-based trajectory analysis. Heather received her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University, her M.A. in Political Science from the University of Akron, and her B.S. in Political Science and Psychology from Heidelberg University.



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