In 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ) established the National Commission on Forensic Science, in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to enhance the practice and improve the reliability of forensic science. This unique partnership draws upon each agency's core strengths to promote scientific validity, reduce fragmentation, and improve federal coordination of forensic science.
The Commission is co-chaired by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and NIST Acting Director and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, Willie May. Nelson Santos, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Forensic Sciences at the Drug Enforcement Administration, and John M. Butler, Special Assistant to the NIST Director for forensic science, serve as vice-chairs. Brette Steele, Senior Advisor on Forensic Science and Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General serves as the Designated Federal Officer and Robin Jones, Consultant within the Department of Justice, serves as Program Manager.
The Commission includes federal, state and local forensic science service providers; research scientists and academics; law enforcement officials; prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges; and other stakeholders from across the country.