Danielle Kushner, PhD

Dr. Danielle Kushner joined the Center for Policing Equity in November 2021. Danielle began her career working for Citizens Planning and Housing Association (CPHA) as a Youth Organizer in east Baltimore. After obtaining her degree in International Relations from Goucher College, Danielle went on to work for an international development firm, where she helped to advance projects throughout the world in the energy, transportation and water supply and sanitation sectors. Danielle eventually pursued a Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University, where she also worked for the largest public opinion survey in Africa, Afrobarometer. Upon completion of her degree, she accepted a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she taught and conducted research on crime and security issues.

Danielle began to advocate for police reform in Baltimore City shortly after her return to Maryland in 2013. In 2017, the Mayor appointed Danielle to the Community Oversight Task Force (COTF.) The COTF was charged with studying Baltimore’s current system of civilian oversight of the police and recommending ways to strengthen it and police-community relations. Danielle was the primary author of the task force’s report, which called for a complete overhaul of the system in order to give it the authority, independence and resources needed to truly hold the police accountable. After the task force was dissolved, Danielle continued to work with two of her task force colleagues to develop innovative ways of healing the relationship between the police and the communities they serve. In 2019, Danielle and her colleagues founded Reconcile Baltimore to formally conduct the work of trust-building between the police and community. In addition to her training in political science and policy, Danielle is also trained in community organizing, facilitation and multiple alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. Her interest in and work on reconciliation in Baltimore’s communities has also been informed by her many years working in South Africa, where some of the most comprehensive work on reconciliation has been done. Danielle is a proud native of Baltimore, Maryland where she resides with her husband and pets.