|Melodee Hanes |
Office of the Administrator
Principal Deputy Administrator
Melodee Hanes is the Principal Deputy Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). She served as Acting Administrator of the agency from January 2012 until March 2013, when Robert L. Listenbee was sworn in as the presidentially-appointed Administrator. During her tenure as Acting Administrator, Ms. Hanes successfully championed initiatives to reduce both children's exposure to violence and the high volume of students entering the juvenile justice system following school suspensions. In her role as Principal Deputy Administrator, she continues to lead OJJDP’s efforts in these areas through her work on the Defending Childhood Initiative and the Supportive School Discipline Initiative. Previously, she served as Acting Deputy Administrator for Policy for OJJDP.
Ms. Hanes' 30-year career in public service and law includes work as a deputy county attorney in the Yellowstone County (MT) Attorney's Office, prosecuting child abuse, sexual assault, and homicide cases. She also served as an assistant county attorney in the Polk County (IA) Attorney's Office, prosecuting major felony crimes. Ms. Hanes prosecuted the first child endangerment case in Polk County under Iowa Code Chapter 726 and handled more than 100 child abuse prosecutions during her tenure. In addition, she developed and coordinated the Polk County Child Abuse Trauma Team and Child Death Review Team.
Ms. Hanes taught child abuse law and forensic medicine and law at Drake University Law School. She has lectured extensively and published in these areas of expertise. She also served on the faculty of the National District Attorneys Association's National Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC, and the Child Protection Training Academy in Des Moines, IA.
In 1991, then-State Senator Elaine Szymoniak (D-IA) appointed Ms. Hanes as chairperson of Iowa's Special Infant Mortality Task Force, which led to the creation of the Infant Mortality Prevention Project through the state's Department of Public Health. The project provided services and resources to the community with the objective of reducing the high rate of infant mortality in Polk County.
Before joining the Justice Department in 2009, Ms. Hanes served as state director and counsel in the office of U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT).
Ms. Hanes earned a bachelor's degree in women's studies from the University of Utah and a law degree from the Drake University Law School.