Meet the Director
Shay Bilchik is the Founder and Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. The Center’s purpose is to advance a balanced, multi-system approach to reducing juvenile delinquency in a way that promotes positive child and youth development. The Center’s work aims to focus the nation’s leaders, across systems of care and levels of government, on the key components of a strong juvenile justice reform agenda. A particular focus of the Center’s work is on youth known to both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, also referred to as “crossover youth.”
Shay leads this work through a multi-faceted approach. The Center conducts Certificate Programs and other trainings to help build a field of strong leaders devoted to reform and sponsors symposia and papers developed from a cross systems perspective on cutting edge issues in the fields of juvenile justice, child welfare and related systems of care. Further, in partnership with Casey Family Programs, the Center is currently implementing the Crossover Youth Practice Model, a model for working with crossover youth in jurisdictions around the country. The Center has also partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice in developing and implementing the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project and the Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative, efforts designed to help states improve outcomes for juvenile offenders by better translating knowledge on “what works” into everyday practice and policy.
Prior to joining Georgetown University on March 1, 2007, Mr. Bilchik was the President and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America, a position he held from February of 2000. Shay led CWLA in its advocacy on behalf of children through his public speaking, testimony and published articles, as well as collaborative work with other organizations. In 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006, he was named among The NonProfit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50 for making his mark in the public policy arena and championing child welfare issues.
Prior to his tenure at CWLA, Shay was the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he advocated for and supported a balanced and multi-system approach to attacking juvenile crime and addressing child victimization. Before coming to the nation’s capital, Mr. Bilchik was an Assistant State Attorney in Miami, Florida from 1977-1993, where he served as a trial lawyer, juvenile division chief, and Chief Assistant State Attorney.
Mr. Bilchik earned his B.S. and J.D. degrees from the University of Florida. He and his wife Susan are the proud parents of two young adults, Melissa and Zach.