Shakira Pumphrey graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology; she later received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She has served as a Civil Rights Investigator to the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, as well as a consultant to various nonprofit groups, including an Arkansas nonprofit organization for children left behind due to parental incarceration. She was instrumental in framing the organization and driving national conversations regarding evidence-based programs for families impacted by incarceration. More recently, Shakira served as Senior Policy Advisor to Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Joe Straus. In that role, she advised the Speaker and his executive staff on policy issues related to corrections, criminal jurisprudence, juvenile justice, defense, veterans, and county affairs. She also served as the primary liaison to legislators, legislative staff, constituents, advocates, agencies, and correlating legislative committees. Shakira joins TCJC as the organization’s first-ever Policy Director, where she has strategic and operational responsibility for guiding and coordinating TCJC’s research and policy work.