Nina Vinik

Program Director
Portrait of Nina Vinik

Nina Vinik is an attorney and expert in the policy and practice of gun violence prevention, and the reform of policing and the criminal justice system. Nina leads the Joyce Foundation’s grant making in support of evidence-informed policies and practices to reduce gun deaths and injuries, improve police legitimacy and build police-community trust, and reduce mass incarceration in the United States. During her 12-year tenure at the Joyce Foundation, Nina has overseen over $50 million in grant-funded projects. Initiatives funded under Nina’s direction include some of the nation’s most significant research into the impact of local, state, and federal gun violence prevention strategies. She also has focused on developing broad stakeholder coalitions to advocate for policies to keep our communities safe, including the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence.

Nina launched the Joyce Foundation’s Justice Reform focus area in 2018, and is recognized for her thought leadership in developing new initiatives to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system’s response to gun violence, including projects such as Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities and Toward a Fair and Just Response to Gun Violence.

Nina serves on multiple professional boards, as an Advisory Board member of the NYU Policing Project; an Advisor to the American Law Institute, Principles of the Law-Police Investigations; a Member of the Council on Criminal Justice; and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She also co-chaired Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s public safety transition committee in 2019. Nina is a frequent published author and media source.

Recognized as a leader in philanthropy, Nina launched the Fund for a Safer Future in 2011, a donor collaborative committed to supporting gun violence prevention policy, research, and public engagement. She is also deeply committed to supporting the next generation of advocates, and serves as Chair of the board of directors of the March For Our Lives Action Fund.

Prior to joining the Joyce Foundation, Nina had a successful career as a civil rights attorney with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., and the ACLU Foundation of Florida. She also served as Legal Director of Legal Community Against Violence (now Giffords Law Center), and Director of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Assistance Partnership Project. Nina began her legal career at the firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago.

Nina earned her law degree from the University of Chicago and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. She lives in Chicago.