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Goodbye to Pete Willner

July 3, 2014 marked Pete Willner’s last day at CCE, after nearly 17 years. “CCE has been where I’ve spent most of my professional life and it’s been the perfect job for me,” Pete said. “Every day is different and every project has been challenging and rewarding. The projects attract and engage a wide variety of talented and committed people.”

Pete arrived at CCE as an intern while pursuing his Master of Public Administration at American University. His assignment was to assist Dr. Richard Seltzer on a study of why people didn’t respond to DC jury summonses, as part of CCE’s 1998 DC Jury Project. Dr. Seltzer received from the DC Superior Court a listing of every person that didn’t respond to a jury summons over a certain time period; Pete staffed a phone bank that called the non-responders after a “reverse look-up” of phone numbers based on address. After this, Pete was hired to work on both administrative and program issues.

Early in his CCE career, Pete worked with the Finance Committee. He also staffed the committee that conducted three separate community-based observations of the local and federal courts in DC. But, during most of his time at CCE, Pete staffed a range of projects mainly relating to criminal, civil and administrative justice. In the area of criminal justice, Pete worked on CCE’s Criminal Caseflow Project, leading to the creation of DC Superior Court’s community court, sentencing reform, including white papers about the sentencing implications of the Revitalization Act, and several projects that involved the publishing of reports and legislative reform including the Expungement, Disorderly Conduct, Post-Arrest Process, and Reentry Projects.  In the area of court improvements, Pete worked on the Civil Caseflow Project, the Probate Task Force, and the Journalists’ Handbook and Bench-Bar-Media Dialogue Project. He also spent a number of years engaged in the Administrative Hearings Project leading to the establishment of the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Pete has also been active in the community, serving in the past on the DC Commission that hired administrative law judges as well as the DC Commission on Reentry. He has worked on several different reentry-related task forces, including the Reentry Task Force, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s employment work group, and the Open Society’s DC reentry work group, among others.

Pete and his family are moving back to their roots in the Syracuse, NY region to be close to parents and relatives. His new career is with InterFaith Works as Director of their newly created Center for Dialogue. The Center will address and reduce intercultural and interracial conflict in central New York.

CCE thanks Pete for his many contributions and wishes him and his family all the best as they embark on the next chapter.  We also thank Mark Flanagan and McKenna Long & Aldridge for generously hosting Pete's farewell at which he received an appreciation award presented by Board Chair Jay Brozost (pictured above).


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