The 2016 Speakers

Adam Bates
Adam Bates
Chelsea Parsons
Chelsea Parsons

Adam Bates

Adam Bates is a policy analyst with The Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice. His research interests include constitutional law, the war on drugs, the war on terror, police militarization and over-criminalization.

Bates received a B.A. in political science from the University of Miami, where he also walked onto the Miami Hurricanes football team, and earned an M.A. in Middle Eastern studies and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Oklahoma bar.

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Chelsea Parsons

Chelsea Parsons is the vice president of guns and crime policy at the Center for American Progress. Her work focuses on advocating for progressive laws and policies relating to gun violence and the criminal justice system at the federal, state, and local levels. She is recognized as a national expert on gun laws and policy and has appeared on MSNBC and C-SPAN as well as numerous radio programs. Her writing has appeared in The Los Angeles TimesThe New York Daily NewsNewsweek,The Daily Beast and The Hill and she has been cited in a variety of publications including USA TodayThe AtlanticThe EconomistPolitico, and Vox.
 
Prior to joining the Center for American Progress, Parsons was general counsel to the New York City criminal justice coordinator, a role in which she helped develop and implement criminal justice initiatives and legislation in areas including human trafficking, sexual assault and family violence, firearms, identity theft, indigent defense, and justice system improvements. She previously served as an assistant New York state attorney general and a staff attorney law clerk for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
 
She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Brooklyn Law School. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two sons.

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