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Board Members


John P. Cocco, MSW LCSW is a mitigation specialist for the federal defender of the Southern District in Indianapolis, Indiana. John received his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University, his Master of Social Work degree from the Indiana University School of Social Work,and is currently a doctoral candidate with the Indiana University School of Social Work.  Prior to his work in the federal court system, John was the director of a reentry program at a non-profit agency in Indianapolis for four years. He has worked in mental health and substance use disorder treatment in various roles since 2007. John has been on the board of the NOFSW since 2016. 

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David McLeod, PhD, has spent the past two decades working to actively reduce violence, particularly that directed at people and communities with diminished capacities for self-protection. In addition to being an Associate Professor in the SSW he holds affiliate faculty status with the OU Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the OU Center for Social Justice, and is the Director of the OU Knee Center for Strong Families. A former police detective who transitioned to become a forensic social worker, David has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in programs of social work, criminal justice, and preparing future faculty. His research is

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Dana E. Prescott, PhD, JD, MSW  has been licensed to practice in Maine and Massachusetts since 1983 and is a partner with Prescott, Jamieson, & Murphy Law Group LLC, Saco, Maine. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Attorneys and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He was awarded an MSW from Boston College and PhD in social work from Simmons College. Dr. Prescott holds an instructor appointment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is adjunct faculty at Boston College School of Social Work. He is a frequent consultant, writer, and speaker on professional ethics and policy related to expert and forensic

President Elect

roles, family law and practice, and judicial systems. He is a rostered guardian ad litem and currently serves as Chair of Maine’s GAL Review Board.

focused on the intersection of criminal behavior development, gender, and trauma. Some of David's current professional activities include investigations of forensic psychopathology and differential criminal behavior development, female sexual offending, female incarceration, child sexual abuse, forensic social work, intra-professional and multidisciplinary collaboration, domestic and relational violence, and social work education. David is a board member of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work, the Co-Chair of the Oklahoma Children of Incarcerated Parents Advisory Committee to the Legislature and is currently working on multiple funded research projects. His most recent publications include works on female sexual offending, trauma, domestic violence, and social work education. He has won numerous teaching, service, and research honors and is a four-time recipient of the Ann and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work "Professor of the Year" award.

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Susan McCarter, PhD, MS, MSW, is the Bonnie E. Cone Professor in Civic Engagement and Professor of Social Work at UNC Charlotte. Dr. McCarter’s career began as a juvenile probation officer, inner-city mental health counselor, and policy analyst and advocate in Virginia where she earned her MSW (Clinical) and her PhD (Social Policy and Social Work). For over 25 years she has conducted research as a Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Scholar (now Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED)) and forensic practitioner. Nationally, Dr. McCarter moderates the Society of Social Work and Research’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Special Interest Group. Regionally, she serves on both the NC RED in Juvenile Justice Subcommittee, the Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium (Central Piedmont CC, Johnson C. Smith, Johnson and Wales - Charlotte, Queens University - Charlotte, and UNC Charlotte), and on the leadership team for Race Matters for Juvenile Justice (Data Chair). With RMJJ, Dr. McCarter conducted Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s First Racial Equity Impact Analysis and she currently leads multiple funded research studies examining the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP), DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) training, and Racial Justice, and she explores and trains nationally and internationally on these topics.



 Emily Reeder Abili, PhD, MSW is a Mitigation Specialist at the Clark County Public Defender in Las Vegas, Nevada.  In that capacity, she has been responsible for the investigation of mitigation evidence in capital and non-capital murder cases since 2003.  During her tenure at the Public Defender, Dr. Reeder Abili has been responsible for uncovering mitigation evidence in death penalty cases and has extensive experience investigating Atkins claims, assisting with the presentation of mitigation in jury trials, and working with nationally renowned experts as a part of the criminal defense team.  She earned her BSW, MSW, and PhD (Public Affairs) from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and previously taught undergraduate courses in quantitative methods and criminology.  Professional honors have included Excellence in Legal Defense (Clark County Public Defender), Legal Advocate Award (Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center), and Value in Performance Award (Clark County).


Viola Vaughan-Eden PhD, MJ, LCSW is Associate Professor and PhD Program Director with The Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work at Norfolk State University in Southeastern Virginia.  She is also the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at The UP Institute, a think tank for upstream child abuse solutions.  As a clinical and forensic social worker, Dr. Vaughan-Eden serves as a consultant and expert witness in child maltreatment cases – principally sexual abuse.  She also lectures nationally and internationally on child and family welfare to multidisciplinary groups of professionals. Dr. Vaughan-Eden is Immediate Past-President of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW), President Emerita of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), and President Emerita of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence (NPEIV).  Additionally, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal for Forensic Social Work, former Editorial Advisor for the Journal of Social Work Education, as well as serves on the editorial board and/or as a reviewer for several other national research journals. 

Viola is the recipient of several honors including as a 2019 Council of Social Work Education Leadership Scholar, 2015 Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia Child Welfare Award, 2014 Champions for Children Community Service Award, 2012 National Association of Social Workers Virginia Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award, and 2011 National Children's Advocacy Center's Outstanding Service Award in Mental Health. See



Ali Winters, DSW, MSW is an Associate Professor of Practice in the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee. She earned her DSW from the University of Tennessee in 2015, her MSW from the University of Alabama in 1996, and her BSSW from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1992. With over 30 years of direct social work practice experience, Dr. Winters’ primary areas of social work practice have been forensic social work in corrections and juvenile justice, direct trauma-based service delivery, program development and evaluation, and behavioral health in healthcare settings. Dr. Winters has also been active in providing clinical supervision and leadership since earning her LCSW in 2005. Her areas of research interest include mental health and solitary confinement, forensic social work ethics, trauma-informed care, and secondary traumatic stress.

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Dr. Anjali (Fulambarker) Buehler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Governors State University. My research focuses on two distinct areas, one of which centers on social justice in social work education.  Specifically, I am interested in engagement in social justice-related work in the classroom by using specific strategies or tools.  The goal of this work is two-fold. First, it provides a mechanism through which students can consider their social location and their identities. Second, it models specific strategies that students can use to engage in social justice work in the future. The other focus of my research is on understanding police response to intimate partner violence. Working collaboratively with police officers in the field, I am interested in understanding officer decision-making, case outcomes, and their impact on intimate partner violence survivors and people who choose to use abuse. The goal of this work is to inform policy and social work practice in law enforcement settings. I see my research and partnership with law enforcement as a critical component of imagining responses outside of the criminal legal system to effectively address gender-based violence.  Related to these areas of research, I teach courses related to social policy, forensic social work, research and program evaluation.

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