Laura Kunard, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist


Laura Kunard is an experienced researcher, project manager and police trainer with expertise in police reform, police interactions with people with mental illness and procedural justice practices. At CNA, she works on a variety of U.S. Department of Justice initiatives, including police reform.

Prior to joining CNA, Kunard served as Director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice, situated within the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. Kunard was the founding Director of the Institute for Public Safety and Social Justice at Adler University in Chicago, where she focused on police interactions with people with mental illness and explored restorative justice practices.

Kunard has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Criminology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Northwestern University. She currently serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Department of Corrections Adult Advisory Board.


April 18, 2018

Highlighting new training implemented with CNA's help, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says, "New programs have included crisis intervention training, classroom training on initiative, implicit bias and procedural justice, cultural awareness training, and deputy wellness programs."

The Laker and Pioneer: "Sheriff Highlights Community Policing Efforts"

April 6, 2017

The Chicago Tribune features CNA analyst Laura Kunard, Ph.D. in "Chicago Inspector General Names New Police Oversight Chief"

March 13, 2017

CNA releases the fourth episode of CNA Talks, a new podcast on current affairs. CNA Board member Laurie Robinson moderated a discussion on the most pressing topics in justice and policing today with CNA analysts Dr. James "Chip" Coldren, Dr. Laura Kunard, James "CHIPS" Stewart and Zoë Thorkildsen.

March 5, 2017

The Police Chief magazine publishes "Forward Momentum: Examples from the Advancing 21st Century Policing Initiative" by CNA analysts Tammy Felix, Laura Kunard, Ph.D., James "Chip" Coldren, Ph.D. and James "CHIPS" Stewart