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John Koufos

Director of Advocacy, Criminal Justice

John directs the advocacy strategy for Arnold Ventures’ criminal justice team, with a primary focus on pretrial justice. In this role, John works with internal, external, and governmental partners to develop and implement evidence-based policies at the state and federal level.

John is a nationally recognized criminal justice advocate with experience building and leading criminal justice and healthcare organizations and campaigns. He has worked with multiple Presidential Administrations, dozens of Governors and Cabinet members, and countless businesses and nonprofits. Closely with researchers and experts, John has worked to help convert evidence-based and data-driven research into actionable policy. His efforts have helped change and shape legislation, administrative policies, and programs across the nation.

John has served in a variety of leadership roles in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including Taking Action for Good (Executive Director), Safe Streets & Second Chances (Executive Director), Right On Crime (National Director of Reentry Initiatives) and the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (Executive Director). John was certified as a Criminal Trial Attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court and has lived experience in the New Jersey state prison system after a successful career as a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer.

John has consulted for large corporations, including highly regulated businesses. His work has helped thousands of people with criminal records secure jobs. In 2022 he wrote and hosted Retaining Talent, a second chance hiring documentary and training. Retaining Talent was filmed across Florida and Washington, D.C., with businesses that hire people with criminal records, government officials, law enforcement, corporate and banking leaders, and at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

His leadership in the business community was recognized in 2016 when NJBIZ named him one of New Jersey’s Top 40 Under 40. He is a regular speaker on criminal justice, healthcare, social determinants of health and workforce development, and helps cities, states, and the federal government to optimize reentry systems. John has been interviewed by a wide array of outlets including C-SPAN Washington Journal, the New York Times, New Jersey Monthly, Time Magazine, and dozens of radio outlets. His commentaries have been published in the New York Post, Governing Magazine, on Fox News, and in regional media around the nation.

Meet the Team

Criminal Justice

Headshot of Crystal Banks
Headshot of Virginia Bersch
Headshot of Destiny Carter
Headshot of Alyson Clements
Headshot of Julia Durnan
Headshot of Ezekiel Edwards
Headshot of Jocelyn Fontaine
Headshot of Dina Grove
Headshot of Thomas Hanna
Headshot of Lauren Hardy
Headshot of Dylan Hayre
Headshot of Rasulan Inayat-Khan
Headshot of Joshua Jackson
Headshot of Juliene James
Headshot of Nadege Joseph
Headshot of Walter Katz
Headshot of Cybele Kotonias
Headshot of Marc Krupanski
Headshot of Alexius Marcano
Headshot of Randall McNeil
Headshot of Carlton Miller
Headshot of Matthew Mizel
Headshot of Linda Phiri
Headshot of Anita Ravishankar
Headshot of Rebecca Silber
Headshot of Jordan Simpson
Headshot of Golnar Teimouri
Headshot of Jasmine Tran
Headshot of Asheley Van Ness
Headshot of Carson Whitelemons
Headshot of James Williams
Headshot of Dina Xie


Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.