Maria Acker is the Strategic Communications Coordinator within the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office of Communications. Her career with OJP has spanned four different offices over 23 years. During her earlier OJP tenure, she focused on crime prevention, juvenile justice, and victims’ rights public awareness initiatives. Maria’s federal experience includes service at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Fire Administration; the Corporation for National and Community Service, OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime, Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. She previously served as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Additionally, in the private sector, Maria worked as an independent consultant and as a public affairs and litigation communications manager for APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs and communications firm. Maria is a 2017 graduate of DOJ’s Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program (LEAP) when she was first introduced to Action Learning. Since her graduation, Maria has been working to meet the requirements to be certified as an Action Learning Coach with the World Institute for Action Learning. Maria received the 2015 OJP Assistant Attorney General’s Award for her work on the acquisition, award, and implementation of OJP’s NCJRS procurement for services supporting communications, marketing, technology, and end-user support services. She received a 2008 OJP Assistant Attorney General’s Award for her contributions to the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week resources, activities and events, specifically for streamlining the award nomination process and fostering a unique partnership with the U.S. Postal Service to raise awareness of victims’ rights and services. Ms. Acker holds an M.S. in Justice, Law, and Society from American University and a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from Dickinson College. She lives in Brunswick, Maryland with her husband and two teenage sons. In her free time, Maria is an avid CrossFitter and recently completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification.
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