President Biden Taps Ohio Criminal Justice Director Karhlton Moore to Lead Bureau of Justice Assistance



WASHINGTON ― Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon announced today that President Biden has appointed Karhlton Moore director of OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Moore, whose appointment takes effect February 28, joins BJA from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, where he served as Executive Director and oversaw state and federal grants for law enforcement, victim assistance, juvenile justice, crime prevention courts, anti-trafficking efforts, reentry, corrections programs and traffic safety.

“Karhlton Moore is known as a collaborator who gets things done, an innovator who looks for practical solutions and a practitioner-focused professional who bases his decisions on what the evidence shows,” said Solomon. “Karhlton has an exceptional track record as a state administrator and will bring an invaluable perspective to the Office of Justice Programs leadership team to help us meet the difficult crime-and-justice challenges faced by communities across the country.”

Moore has led Ohio’s grantmaking operations since 2005. He has advised the governor and the director of the Department of Public Safety on criminal justice strategies and developed a plan to use funding under the American Rescue Plan Act to address violent crime, officer wellness and recruitment, and other effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the criminal justice system. He also served as the facilitator for former Ohio Governor John Kasich’s Task Force on Community-Police Relations, precursor of the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board. The Ohio Collaborative is a multi-disciplinary panel that establishes standards for law enforcement agencies as part of the state’s effort to strengthen community-police relations. Moore has been a member of the National Criminal Justice Association advisory council and executive committee and was president of its board of directors.

“I am so pleased and honored to have the opportunity to lead the Bureau of Justice Assistance,” said Moore. “I’m looking forward to working with criminal justice stakeholders, practitioners and others from across the country to make our communities safer.”

Moore previously served as the chief legal counsel and legislative liaison for the Office of Criminal Justice Services. He was also an assistant attorney general in the Court of Claims Defense and Capital Crimes sections of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and was assistant deputy legal counsel in the Office of the Governor. Moore was integral in creating the Ohio Consortium of Crime Science, an association of researchers from colleges, universities and state agencies working to provide evidence-based solutions to problems faced by local criminal justice agencies. He also helped to implement the Ohio Community Initiative to Reduce Violence, a partnership of cities throughout the state that brings together communities, law enforcement officials and social service providers to reduce gang and group homicides. The initiative is credited with significant reductions in homicides and shootings in the target cities.

Moore is an Ohio native with a bachelor of arts degree from Wright State University and a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.

As head of BJA, Moore will oversee a wide-ranging portfolio of grant programs, training and technical assistance activities, and other resources aimed at preventing crime, reducing recidivism and promoting a fair and effective criminal justice system. BJA investments help law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, court and corrections officials, treatment providers and community-based partners address chronic and emerging criminal justice challenges, from reentry to violent crime to behavioral health issues in the justice system. BJA’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants Program is the largest single source of federal funding for state, local and tribal criminal justice operations.

Moore takes over the leadership post from Kristen Mahoney, who has served as BJA’s acting director since January 2021 and will resume her role as the office’s principal deputy director.