School navigation

National Crime Victim Law Institute

John W. Gillis

October 19, 2010

  • News Image

John W. Gillis was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in September, 2001 as the National Director, Office for Victims of Crime, U. S. Department of Justice.  In this capacity, Director Gillis had oversight for priority initiatives including International Terrorism and Victim Assistance, Human Trafficking, and the Crime Victims’ Fund in all 50 states and all U. S. Territories. 

Prior to the DOJ appointment Gillis served as the chair of the California Board of Prison Terms and was with the Los Angeles Police Department for more than two decades.  Gillis retired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 1988 after twenty-six years of service, retiring with the rank of Assistant Commanding Officer, Communications Division.  In addition to a Master of Science Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, he holds a BA degree in Political Science from California State University at Los Angeles. He has studied Law at Glendale College School of Law. He also holds a Community College Teaching Credential – teaching criminal law and Administration of Justice classes. 

Following the 1979 murder of his daughter Louarna, Gillis became a founding member of Justice for Homicide Victims (JHV) and the Coalition of Victims Equal Rights, a statewide organization that worked on behalf of the rights of victims and their families. 

In 1991, President George H. W. Bush presented Gillis with the National Crime Victim Service Award for his work in helping crime victims. In 1993, former U. S. Attorney General William P. Barr recognized Gillis’ crime victim service with a Special Commendation Award.

Gillis served four years as a member of the California State Bar Association’s Crime Victims and Corrections Committee and four years on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Victim Committee.

Gillis is a founding member of the “Council on Crime in America” formed in 1994. The 11-member Council was co-chaired by former U.S. Attorney Griffin Bell and former U.S. Education Secretary & Drug Czar William J. Bennett.

John joined the Board in 2010.