U.S. Department of Justice

National Institute of Corrections Director

Shaina Vanek was appointed as Acting Director of the National Institute of Corrections’ (NIC) on January 20, 2017. A member of NIC’s Executive Staff since 2011, Ms. Vanek has twenty years of program development and management experience in both the private and public sectors.

In her role at NIC, she is responsible for developing plans, programs, and policies for the management of the Institute, as well as overseeing key public safety initiatives for the field of corrections. She has directed national level operational studies, including the Special Housing Review and Assessment for the Bureau of Prisons in 2014.

Prior to joining NIC, Ms. Vanek worked both in higher education as well as two national correctional consulting firms. As a consultant, Ms. Vanek oversaw high-level correctional projects, assisting correctional facilities – prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities – in identifying the underlying causes for problems to improve organizational performance. She is a seasoned assessor, having engaged in all types of fieldwork and lead over 40 assessments of institutional culture across the country. Ms. Vanek also provided tools to assist institutions in developing long-term strategies for culture change.

Ms. Vanek has also managed PREA technical assistance delivery strategies in multiple jurisdictions. These efforts have included conducting needs assessments, developing staff training programs, conducting facility management assessments, working with consultants in coaching executive leaders, supporting staff teambuilding efforts, and coordinating organizational change efforts.

Ms. Vanek earned her Bachelor of Arts in the fields of sociology and psychology from the University of Vermont, and her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Counseling from Central Connecticut State University. She has served as a Visiting Guest Lecturer in the psychology department at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Ms. Vanek also completed the Department of Justice’s Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program (LEAP).