Who We Are

Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.

Who We Are

Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.

Who We Are

Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.

Who We Are

Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.

Who We Are

Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.

Our mission is to champion dignity and compassion for those harmed by crime and crisis.



    We advocate for victims by connecting them with services and resources.


    We provide skill-based training to victim advocates and crisis responders.


    We ensure the highest standards and professional core competencies are met and maintained by those working directly with crime victims through credentialing programs.


    We promote public policy initiatives that protect the rights of crime victims and serve as the national voice for victims.



    We care about and respond to the plight of people and one another.


    Excellence in our work and justice in our cause means we honor our commitments.


    Teamwork and partnerships are crucial to the work we do.


    We are driven by the hope that the work we do change lives.

Executive Staff

  • Chief Justice Richard Barajas (Ret.)
    Executive Director

    Chief Justice Richard Barajas (Ret.) is a native of El Paso, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Juris Doctor from the Baylor University. He additionally holds a Master’s in Education, Administration and Supervision. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and the District of Columbia Bar. He served in the United States Naval Judge Advocate General’s Corps as a trial and defense attorney in Norfolk, Virginia and as a staff attorney assigned to the Commander, United States Forces in the Azores, Portugal. His last naval assignment was with the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs as a legislative attorney on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. He left military service with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He has been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Texas, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States Supreme Court.

    In 1987, in response to the murder of his brother Oscar in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Chief Justice Barajas abandoned his practice of criminal law and successfully sought the office of District Attorney for the 83rd Judicial District of the State of Texas. In 1991, he was appointed to the Eighth District Court of Appeals for the State of Texas and subsequently was elected Chief Justice of the Court. He retired from elected judicial service and took the non-elected status of senior justice in August 2006.

    Chief Justice Barajas is a former member of the Texas District and County Attorneys’ Association and the National District Attorney’s Association. He served as a faculty member of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, on the Texas Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Efficiency, its Task Force on Information Technology, and its Task Force on Judicial Selection, the Texas Supreme Court Gender Bias Implementation Committee, as well as State Bar of Texas Crime Victims and Witnesses Committee.

    Chief Justice Barajas has made helping victims heal his life-long professional mission. He and his former law clerk, Scott A. Nelson, are authors of the Baylor Law Review article entitled The Proposed Crime Victims’ Federal Constitutional Amendment: Working Toward a Proper Balance. He has been actively associated with National Organization for Victims Assistance for over twenty-five years, as a general member, an elected board member, and most recently as an advisory board member. He has served as the national chair of the NOVA Task Force on Identity Theft, a task force to examine the effects of victimization of identity theft and services, which may be afforded those crime victims. A nationally recognized lecturer on the proper balancing of the constitutional rights between the criminal defendant and the intended victim, Chief Justice Barajas was honored by the President of the United States at a White House ceremony as a national recipient of the Presidential Award for Victim Services. He has advised the Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime and the Office of Violence Against Women on issues relating to human trafficking. In addition, he is a frequent victim-based lecturer on topics relating to the criminal justice system; essential leadership qualities of an effective victim advocate; the proper balancing of the criminal justice system; identity theft and the military; prosecutorial ethics and victim rights; the First Amendment and victim advocates; stages and consequences of victimization; hate crimes and implicit bias in the criminal justice system, among other prevailing topics.​




















  • Claire Ponder Selib
    Deputy Director

    Claire Ponder Selib has worked in sexual assault and domestic violence prevention for the past 20 years.  As NOVA’s Deputy Director, Claire leads NOVA’s National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC), including the NOVA Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA), the NOVA Campus Advocacy Training (NCAT) and our monthly continuing education webinar series. From 2013-14, Claire was instrumental in working with the Department of Defense (DoD) to stand up the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP), an innovative program to train and certify all military sexual assault victim advocates.

    Prior to joining NOVA, Claire served for over five years as the Project Manager for the Army’s Victim Advocacy and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Contract; managing a staff of 164 Victim Advocates at 56 Army installations around the world. Claire has extensive experience developing policies, anti-violence campaigns, training curricula and facilitating national trainings for military and civilian audiences.  She has managed state and national anti-violence programs at the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  Additionally, Claire provided on-call advocacy, individual counseling, and psychoeducational groups to survivors of sexual assault/abuse and domestic violence while working at Prince George’s Hospital Center, Children’s National Medical Center and Women Empowered Against Violence.

    Claire holds a BA in English from Columbia University and a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Deborah Adams
    Senior Director of Finance and Operational Services




















  • Roger Roberts
    Director of Crisis Response Services




























































































































  • Lindsy Gundrum
    Director, D-SAACP
  • Mariel Branagan
    D-SAACP Deputy Program Manager
  • August Mann
    Credentialing Coordinator, D-SAACP






















  • Sharon McCown
    Administrative Coordinator










































































  • Ashley Fletcher
    Project Coordinator, NACP

Board of Directors

NOVA’s Board of Directors is comprised of up to fifteen elected members committed to its mission.

  • Steven J. Twist (President, (1st Term expires 2020)
    Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Andrew Yurick, Vice-President, (2nd Term expires 2020)
    Attorney, Woodbury, NJ
  • Rosie Martinez, Secretary (1st Term expires 2021)
    Victims Unit Director, Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney- Victims Unit
    Edinburg, Texas
  • Jennifer Radder, Treasurer, (1st Term expires 2020)
    Family Ministries Director at Destiny Community Church
    Newberry, FL
  • Jeannette Adkins, MEd, LPC, CA, (1st Term expires 2019)
    Retired – Executive Director, Michael’s House Child Advocacy Center/Greene Co. Prosecutor’s Office
  • Paul B. Freeman, (1st Term expires 2020)
    Retired – Victim Specialist Federal Bureau of Investigation,
    Victim Services – Consulting, Training and Trauma Response
    Atlanta, GA
  • Dr. Mamie Futrell, DSW, LMSW  (1st Term expires 2021) 
    Civilian Victim Advocate for the USAF (Full time)
    Charleston, South Carolina
  • Michaelene O’Neill McCann, (1st Term expires 2019)
    Retired – Attorney ADA and Chief Victim Witness Services
    Essex MA District Attorney’s Office
  • Patricia A. Payne, (1st Term expires 2019)
    Retired – Executive Director of Northwest Victim Services
    Willow Grove, PA
  • Elizabeth (Beth) Rossman, (1st Term expires 2019)
    Retired – Director Office of the State Attorney 18th Judicial Circuit, Florida
    Titusville, FL
  • John W. Gillis, (1st term ends 2022)
    Gillis Consulting Group LLC
  • Brenda J. Muhammad, (1st term ends 2022)

Honorary Board of Directors

Our Honorary Board Members offer additional expertise to the Board of Directors.

  • Rhonda S. Barner, Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Division
    Palm Coast, FL
  • Katie Beers, Abduction & Abuse Survivor/Motivational Speaker
    Central Pennsylvania
  • Hon. Collene Thompson Campbell
    San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Hon. Lois Haight, Judge of Superior Court
    Martinez, CA
  • Hon. Bill Montgomery, County Attorney
    Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ
  • Joseph Myers, Executive Director
    National Indian Justice Center,
    Santa Rosa, CA
  • Hon. Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr.
    Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney, TX
  • D. Michael Sheline, Assistant Section Chief
    Chief-Crime Victims Section, Office of Ohio Attorney General
  • David Thomas, Program Manager II
    International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP),
    Alexandria, VA
  • Sarah Tueting, Executive Coach, Gold & Silver Olympic Medalist, Writer
    Park City, UT
  • John Vanderzon, Director of Technology and Sales
    Sun Management, McLean, VA


In 2008, NOVA teamed up with LifeLock to address the growing need for identity theft victim assistance and remediation. Based in Tempe, Arizona, the company has been recognized with numerous awards and honors.

As partners, we provided educational programs about identity theft to tens of thousands of consumers, victim advocates and allied professionals as well as crime prevention specialists. The one-day trainings addressed a range of identity theft issues, including laws, new technologies, awareness and protection strategies and assistance tools to aid victims of identity theft.

Visit LifeLock’s website for more information on training options.

National Advocacy Leadership Center Partners

In collaboration with our partners, NALC seeks to promote and advance the professionalization and care quality of victim advocacy. View a list of our partners

International Reach

While NOVA’s core sphere of influence and expertise has been North America, NOVA also has international relationships that provide opportunities for multinational consultation and collaboration.


We stock a variety of NOVA merchandise in limited quantities. Our most popular resource is a series of publications related to victim advocacy and child victims.

Become a NOVA Member

We are so grateful to our members! Our members are the backbone of the NOVA network. Each membership is an investment in providing high quality training, victim advocacy, crisis response, and enhanced services for victims and survivors of crime and crisis.

Join our growing and diverse network of NOVA Members today! NOVA offers two membership plans – NOVA Basic Membership and NOVA Premier Membership – to give you more benefits and choices. Select the NOVA Membership Plan that’s right for you!

NOVA Basic Membership

Along with the tremendous satisfaction of investing in a network of incredible professionals around the world, NOVA Basic Membership offers the following benefits:

  • Quarterly NOVA Member E-Newsletter
  • Reduced registration fee for the NOVA Annual Conference
  • Reduced training fees for NOVA’s Crisis Response and other training programs
  • Voting privileges to elect members of our Board of Directors
  • NOVA merchandise and publication discounts

Become a Basic NOVA Member by clicking HERE

If you do not wish to pay online please download the paper application HERE

NOVA Premier Membership

NOVA Premier Members enjoy all of the NOVA Basic Membership benefits PLUS full access to NOVA’s National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC).
This includes:

  • NOVA’s Premier Members-Only Website
  • NALC’s Monthly and Quarterly CEU Trainings for Victim Advocates and Program Managers: Earn up to 24 CEU credits per year!
  • NALC’s Career Center: Career guidance, job listings and other essential information for victim assistance professionals
  • Networking Opportunities: On-line and in-person meet-ups
  • Professional Updates: Best practices, upcoming trainings and calls to action

Become a Premier NOVA Member by clicking HERE.

If you do not wish to pay online please download the paper application HERE

Annual Dues

Join the NOVA Family Today! Renew your Current NOVA Membership!

Annual membership dues are as follows:

  • NOVA Basic Membership$55
  • Senior/Student/U.S. Military/Volunteer Victim Advocate/ NVAA Alumni (20% Discount)$44
  • NOVA Premier Membership$100
  • Senior/Student/U.S. Military/Volunteer Victim Advocate/NVAA Alumni
    (20% Discount)
  • Life Membership$750
  • Agency Head (limited to elected or appointed individuals)please call
  • Group Discounts (20% off 5 or more memberships from the same agency)please call

 Membership FAQs

Please expand for submission details:

> I currently have a basic membership. Can I upgrade to the Premier level?

You can upgrade your membership to a NOVA Premier Membership and receive full access to NOVA’s NALC at any point this year.

> What is a NOVA Life Membership?

A life membership allows you to join an exclusive cadre of NOVA members who receive NOVA member benefits year after year at no additional charge.

> What are the qualifications to receive a discounted membership?

We offer several discounted membership options:
Group membership – 5 or more individuals from the same agency
Senior membership – available to individuals 60+ years old
Student membership – available to current students at any educational level
Military membership – available to all active-duty, reservist, National Guard, and advocates employed by the DoD or DHS
Volunteer Victim Advocate – available to individuals volunteering their time as a victim advocate
NVAA Alum – Available to graduates of NOVA’s Victim Assistance Academy

> I have a NACP or D-SAACP victim advocacy certification – does that mean I am a NOVA member?

No, NACP and D-SAACP are separate programs from the NOVA membership.

> Does NOVA offer agency memberships?

Agency memberships are limited to elected or appointed individuals. Please contact us for more information: 703-535-6682 or membership@trynova.org.

> Does NOVA offer group discounts?

We are pleased to offer a group discount for 5 or more staff from the same agency. Please contact us for more information: 703-535-6682 or membership@trynova.org.

> I want to buy a NOVA Membership for each of my staff. How do I do this?

To purchase memberships for more than one person, you can either sign each person up online separately, or we would be happy to process a bulk payment if you contact our office at 703-535-6682 or membership@trynova.org.

Thank you for your support! If you have any additional questions, please contact us at 703-535-6682 or membership@trynova.org

The America’s Best Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to charitable organizations that meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Applicant charities must provide evidence of their program activities and demonstrate the benefit of their services. They must submit for review their most recent IRS tax returns with all schedules. Charities with annual revenues above $250,000 must also submit audited financial statements produced by an independent certified public accountant, including an auditor’s opinion letter stating the charity meets the generally accepted accounting standards in the United States.

Tracking address: bunch-bjahce@webc.trynova.org (do not email this address)