John (Jack) A. Calhoun
An internationally renowned public speaker, Jack Calhoun, through Development Services Group, is Senior Consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice for its National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. He authored Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America, Policy Walking: Lighting Paths to Safer Communities, Stronger Families and Thriving Youth, and Through the Hourglass: Poems of Life and Love.
John DiIulio, one of the nation’s leading criminal justice experts and former Assistant to the President of the United States calls Jack “the most articulate and persuasive proponent of early intervention in reducing crime and delinquency in the nation’s history.” John Bridgeland, former Director of USA Freedom Corps and the President’s Domestic Policy Council said of Jack, “His work has helped countless children, strengthened and made safer our communities, and has strengthened the fabric of our nation.”
Jack served as Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services in Massachusetts where he chaired both the Adolescent and State of the Family task forces.
In 1979 President Carter appointed him to the post of U.S. Commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, overseeing such programs as Head Start, foster care and adoption and the Center to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect. He helped to write the landmark Child Welfare and Adoption Act of 1980, called “one of the three most important laws affecting children in the last 100 years.” There he created the Office for Families and the Office of Domestic Violence. He was Vice President of the Child Welfare League of America and, in 1983, the first President of the National Crime Prevention Council, where, for 20 years, he revolutionized crime prevention by focusing on building vital communities, and involving youth as positive community change agents. Over a 17-year period, Youth as Resources, a program he designed, involved almost 500,000 youth. As Senior Advisor to the National League of Cities Institute for Children, Youth and Families, Jack, in 2007, helped to create and for seven years ran the California Cities Violence Prevention Network (CCVPN). He now serves as CCVPN’s board president. The U.S. Department of Justice launched the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, modeling it directly on CCVPN, and hiring Calhoun to serve as a Senior Consultant to help guide the Forum’s work. The Forum exists in 15 cities across America.
Beginning as a teacher in the core city and community organizer for Action for Community Development in Boston, Massachusetts, he later launched the State’s first court diversion and restitution programs for Justice Resource Institute, an agency he created and directed. He drafted and saw through to passage the nation’s first pre-trial diversion law.
In constant demand as a moderator speaker here and abroad, Jack has testified before city councils, county commissions, state legislatures and Congress. He is a frequent keynoter at state and federal conferences nationally. Internationally, he keynoted the WHO conference in Bergen, Norway, and opened or closed conferences in Mexico City, Paris Berlin, and in several Canadian cities. He has consulted internationally for the World Bank. For 10 years he served as moderator for the Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar Program. A frequent media guest, including The Today Show, Larry King Live and Diane Rehm, he has served on numerous boards, published two books, written more than 50 articles, and received many awards.
Listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA and THE WHO’S WHO IN THE WORLD, he earned a BA from Brown University, a Master’s degree in Theology from the Episcopal Divinity School, a Master’s degree with honors in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and from Heidelberg College, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.