Robin Olsen is a principal policy associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she works on criminal and juvenile justice reform. She is leading a project on examining data availability and improvements to prosecutorial decisionmaking. Olsen’s research interests focus on using data and evidence and collaborative work across stakeholders to improve criminal and juvenile justice system outcomes.
Before joining Urban, Olsen was a manager with the Public Safety Performance Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts. She led the teams providing technical assistance to achieve comprehensive criminal and juvenile justice reform across several states, leading to significant reductions in prison and juvenile out-of-home populations, as well as investment in evidence-based practices and policies. Olsen has previously been a public safety policy adviser and analyst with city and state governments in Washington, DC, and Illinois. She has also worked and conducted research on issues related to youth and community violence, the use of mapping in criminal justice, and children of incarcerated parents.
Olsen holds an AB in politics from Princeton University and an MPP from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.