Katherine Darke Schmitt is the Acting Director of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) within the U.S. Department of Justice, where she oversees programs and services that help victims in the aftermath of crime and as they rebuild their lives. She concurrently serves as the Director of the OVC Tribal Division. Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Director of the National Programs Division. Before joining OVC as Associate Director in February 2018, she served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), where she was also Director of the OJP Diagnostic Center, a national technical assistance resource providing customized assistance to states, municipalities, and tribes in criminal justice, public safety, and victim service issues. Ms. Darke’s portfolio at the Office of Justice Programs has included programs related to enhancing officer safety and community relations, the nexus between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence, and the integration of research and program evaluation into the practice of public policy in the fields of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and public safety. Previous assignments within OJP include seven years at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, where she was Deputy Associate Administrator of the Child Protection Division, focused on the law enforcement and community response to the abuse, exploitation, and trafficking of children. She also spent three years at the National Institute of Justice in the Violence and Victimization Research Division overseeing research projects on violence against women. Prior to joining the Department of Justice Ms. Darke worked at the Urban Institute and the National Academy of Sciences on projects focused on gender equity, immigration, domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse prevention.
Ms. Darke holds a B.A. in Government, magna cum laude, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She is a 2017 graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and the Brookings Executive Education Fellowship and a 2016 graduate of the Army War College Senior Leader Seminar.