Zoë Thorkildsen
Senior Research Scientist


Zoë Thorkildsen is an expert in law enforcement policy, practice, and analysis, as well as program evaluation and research design. She specifically specializes in analysis of racial disparities in law enforcement activity as well as robust evaluation of law enforcement programs using randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental designs.

Ms. Thorkildsen has led and supported numerous assessments supporting local law enforcement reform efforts, particularly as relates to understanding racial disparities and bias, including work in Charleston, SC, North Charleston, SC, Albany, NY, Niskayuna, NY, Orlando, FL, and San José, CA.

Ms. Thorkildsen has also conducted work related to justice personnel safety and wellness, including leading an after action report for the 2014 Las Vegas ambush that killed two police officers and supporting an intensive study of police ambushes for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). She also served as co-investigator on a National Institute of Justice-funded study on correctional officer safety as related to technology.

Ms. Thorkildsen holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland, with a focus on public policy, as well as two degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania: a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Mathematics and Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration at the Trachtenberg School at The George Washington University.


November 5, 2020

"'I commend CNA for conducting an independent, thorough and substantive audit on behalf of the City of Albany,' said Chief City Auditor Dr. Dorcey Applyrs in a statement."

WAMC: "Outside Firm Releases Racial Bias Audit on Albany Police Department"

November 5, 2020

"The [CNA] audit's 62 findings and accompanying recommendations are expected to provide the city with a baseline of information as part of the reform process."

Times Union: "Black Albany Residents Arrested at Higher Rates, Audit Finds"

November 5, 2020

"The firm [CNA] examined internal operations, policies and procedures to gain an understanding of potential disparities and biases, and how their impact on Albany residents, particularly in Black communities."

CBS 6 Albany: "Albany Police Preliminary Racial Bias Audit Findings Released"

May 28, 2020

Zoë Thorkildsen says, "I don't know of any other agency in the country that is examining individual deputy traffic stop behavior using statistical approaches."

AZCentral: "Sheriff: Deputies' Traffic Stops Will Be Analyzed for Racial Bias"


August 10, 2017

Colorado Public Radio quotes CNA analyst Zoë Thorkildsen in “As Crime Rises, Auditor Knocks Denver’s Limited Data-Driven Policing”

June 24, 2017

The Center for Investigative Reporting's Reveal news radio program interviews CNA analyst Zoë Thorkildsen in “Trial and Terror.” Listen at 42:40 min for Zoë’s clip.