CCJ Directory

Courtney Bryan

Courtney Bryan

Executive Director, Center for Justice Innovation
Women's Justice Commission

As executive director of the Center for Justice Innovation, Courtney Bryan oversees an annual budget of more than $100 million and nearly 900 employees. Bryan’s commitment to justice reform and community change was forged shortly after college, when she worked at the center (then called the Center for Court Innovation) as a program associate, where she learned firsthand about the importance of engaging communities in implementing lasting reforms. She left the center to become a lawyer, graduating from Temple University School of Law, and then worked as a public defender for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn and as a staff attorney at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in Philadelphia. She first returned to the center to focus on improving legal system outcomes for criminalized survivors. She later served as director of the Midtown Community Court and helped expand the center’s criminal justice programming, providing more opportunities to divert people from incarceration. She worked with reformers across the country to promote new responses to human trafficking and domestic violence and also led the center’s Rikers initiative by coordinating staff and research for the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, which successfully argued for closing the jails on Rikers Island.   

Before returning to the center in 2020 as director, Bryan served as an executive at the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Foundation, which sought inclusive economic growth in communities worldwide by strengthening workforce systems, revitalizing neighborhoods, growing small businesses, and improving the financial health of individuals. At the foundation, she helped launch the Second Chance Opportunities initiative to support greater economic prospects for people with criminal convictions. Bryan is a member of the Council on Criminal Justice, Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, and the New York City Mayor’s Office inaugural Nonprofit Advisory Council.