Meet the Director

Picture of Michael Umpierre

Michael Umpierre is the Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, where he is responsible for overseeing all of CJJR’s programs, initiatives, research, and operations. Prior to becoming Director in 2020, Michael served as CJJR’s Deputy Director of Juvenile Justice System Improvement and Communications, where he managed the Youth in Custody Practice Model initiative, served as a trainer and provider of technical assistance for the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project, Crossover Youth Practice Model and Multi-System Collaboration Training and Technical Assistance Program, and served in other leadership capacities, including with the Juvenile Justice Leadership Network and Public Information Officers Learning Collaborative.

Michael has dedicated his career to improving the lives of youth, particularly those who are underprivileged, vulnerable, and most in need.  He has a wealth of experience as a juvenile justice administrator, national trainer and consultant, public defender and youth advocate.  His previous experience includes serving as the Chief of Staff of the District of Columbia’s cabinet-level juvenile justice agency, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Program Coordinator of the National Center for Youth in Custody, and trial attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. He has also worked at several youth advocacy organizations including the Youth Law Center, National Center for Youth Law, Legal Services for Children, and Pacific Juvenile Defender Center.

Michael received a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University and a J.D. from Yale Law School, and is a recipient of the prestigious John Gardner Public Service Fellowship and Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Michael and his wife Rachael are the proud parents of their son Alexander and daughter Josephine.