Vidhya Ananthakrishnan joins the Justice Lab at Columbia University as the Director of Youth Justice Projects. Vidhya comes to this role after working at the Vera Institute of Justice for a decade, where she planned, managed, and oversaw an array of projects to keep youth out of the justice system. As a Project Director, she launched two large-scale, multi-year initiatives, including the Status Offense Reform Center, a technical assistance and communications effort to help states and localities handle youth misbehavior outside of court, and Youth Futures, an employment and education program serving justice-impacted youth in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. As a Senior Program Associate, she worked on several youth justice reform efforts in New York State, including leading Vera's assistance to Governor Paterson's Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice. Prior to Vera, Vidhya conducted program evaluations of federal employment and transit programs at the US Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. She began her career with the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition in New York City, where she advocated for funding and effective policies to support youth employment and youth development programs. Vidhya has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and International Studies from Northwestern University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the George Washington University.