Harbitter to Step Down as SEARCH Deputy Executive Director, Take on New Role as Special Advisor

  Back  See more recent articles

Kelly Peters Harbitter
Ms. Kelly Peters Harbitter, SEARCH's Deputy Executive Director since 2003, will step down effective January 1, 2011, but will continue in a part-time position as Special Advisor to Executive Director Ron Hawley.

In her role as Special Advisor, Ms. Harbitter, who lives in the Washington, D.C. area, will continue her work in Washington to build relationships with SEARCH's Federal partners, the Congress, and peer organizations. She will also work on special projects for SEARCH's Programs Division and work on strategic corporate issues.

SEARCH has begun a recruitment campaign for the position of Deputy Executive Director.

"Kelly has been a dynamic, committed, and talented Deputy Executive Director for SEARCH, and is one of the reasons we have successfully supported the justice and public safety agencies we serve at the State, local and tribal levels," noted Executive Director Hawley. "We support her desire to change her role at SEARCH, and are looking forward to her continued contributions to this organization."

Ms. Harbitter announced her plans at the SEARCH Board of Directors meeting in Burlington, Vermont, on July 29. A SEARCH employee since 1991, Ms. Harbitter praised SEARCH, stating, "I instantly fell in love with this impressive national group, and its vision and mission, but mostly its people — an incredibly talented group of staff and Members. SEARCH's dynamic nature, its ability to tackle challenges, and to substantively impact justice and public safety, drew me in and kept me here and busy as ever for two decades."

As Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Harbitter oversees the development, implementation, and management of all SEARCH programs and related projects. SEARCH programs focus on information technology (IT) and its successful application to justice and public safety decisionmaking. In each program, Ms. Harbitter directs a broad array of activities, resources and products provided to local, regional, tribal and state justice and public safety agencies nationwide. These include policy, operational and technical assistance, training, resource development (publications, Web sites, model development), national-scope policy research, and national workshops, symposia and conferences. The programs she oversees are funded by grants, cooperative agreements and contracts from the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS), and from state and local agencies.

During her tenure with SEARCH, Ms. Harbitter has developed, organized and presented at numerous national symposia on justice information sharing and technology, and workshops on justice and public safety IT issues that have trained thousands of practitioners and state and local policymakers.

She has written numerous articles, technical bulletins and reports on justice system automation and integration for SEARCH and for publication by the U.S. DOJ. She is co-author of the Law Enforcement Tech Guide: How to plan, purchase and implement technology (successfully!) and Law Enforcement Tech Guide for Information Technology Security: How to Assess Risk and Establish Effective Policies .

She has also provided onsite technical assistance on issues relating to justice and public safety information sharing, interoperability and integration.