National Commission on Forensic Science

National Commission on Forensic Science


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 Sally Q. Yates and NIST Director and 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. Jonathan McGrath, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst for the Department’s National Institute of Justice, serves as the Designated Federal Official (DFO). Lindsay DePalma serves as NCFS 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.


Jonathan McGrath, Ph.D.

The Views document on Statistical Statements in Forensic Testimony is currently open for public comment at, Docket No. DOJ-LA-2016-0025.  This comment period will close on January 25, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

NCFS is now soliciting applications for additional Commission membership with subject matter expertise in statistics. Click here for more information. This application period has beeen extended, and will close on January 26th, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST.