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Arkansas Commission on Children, Youth, and Families

Hon. Rhonda K. Wood, Associate Justice

Commission Chair

Arkansas Supreme Court

B.A., magna cum laude, Hendrix College

J.D., highest honors, William H. Bowen School of Law

Justice Wood has served on the Commission since 2014, and she has been chair since 2015. She was elected to the Supreme Court of Arkansas in 2014. She previously served as a Circuit Judge in the 20th Judicial District and as an appellate judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. Her experience as a Circuit Judge gave her a passion for improving court processes for families affected by juvenile justice and child welfare cases. Before her judicial service, Justice Wood was an attorney in private practice, a hearing Officer for the Conway Housing Authority, and an Assistance Deams for the William H. Bowen School of Law.

Hon. Kimberly Boling Bibb, Circuit Judge

Second Judicial District, Division 8

Hon. Troy Braswell, Circuit Judge

Commission Co-Chair

Twentieth Judicial District, Division 2

B.A., University of Central Arkansas

J.D., William H. Bowen School of Law

Judge Braswell was elected to the circuit bench in 2014. He began his career as a law clerk for Circuit Judge Tim Fox in Pulaski County, and he went on to serve as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Pulaski County. Before his judicial service, he was Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 20th Judicial District. He served as the chair of the Juvenile Judges' Committee and formerly was the chair of the Arkansas Youth Justice Reform Board. He has served on the Commission since 2018.

Hon. Earnest Brown, Jr., Circuit Judge

Commission Co-Chair

Eleventh West Judicial District, Division 6

B.A., University of Arkansas

J.D., University of Arkansas

Judge Brown was first elected to the circuit bench in 2008. Previously, he was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 11th West Judicial District, and Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and Managing partner of Brown & McKissic Law Firm. He also served in the legislative branch as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. He is a proud and engaged member of the Pine Bluff community. Judge Brown has been actively involved in numerous judicial committees, including as a Commissioner on the Judicial Discipline and Disability Committee and as former chair of the Juvenile Judges' Committee. He has served on the Commission since 2018.

Hon. Teresa French, Circuit Judge

Tenth Judicial Circuit, Division 5

B.A., University of Arkansas at Monticello

J.D., University of Arkansas

Judge French has served as a Circuit Judge in 10th District since 2005. Before that, she was deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the 10th District for district court and juvenile court cases. She has also worked as an attorney in private practice.

Senator Missy Thomas Irvin

Arkansas State Senate, District 24

B.A., Randolph-Macon Women's College

Senator Irvin represents District 24 in the Arkansas Senate. She began her career as a News Editor for KATV Channel 7 News. Later, she worked in marketing as a Marketing Director of Tipton & Hurst and Director of Marketing, Research and Development for Stone County Ironworks and Calico Rock Ironworks. She has served as an Adjunct Professor and Director of the Department of Dance at Hendrix College. She is currently the Marketing Director at Irvin-Dibrell Clinic in addition to her role as a Senator. She previously served on the Commission from 2012-2015, and she began her current term in 2019.

Representative Jamie Scott

Arkansas House of Representatives, District 12

B.A., Arkansas State University

M.A., Arkansas State University

Representative Scott is the Director of Youth Services. She graduated from Arkansas State University with a B.A. in criminology and sociology and an M.A. in criminal justice. Additionally, she is a graduate of Harvard School of Government executive education program.  

Brooke Steen, Director-Juvenile Justice Division

Administrative Office of the Courts

B.A., University of Arkansas

J.D., William H. Bowen School of Law

Brooke began working at the Administrative Office of the Courts in 2017 as a staff attorney, and she currently serves as the Juvenile Justice Division Director. Before moving to the AOC, Brooke was in private practice in Little Rock.  She has served on the Commission since 2022.

Secretary Jacob Oliva

Arkansas Department of Education

Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Education and division chief of the elementary and secondary education division. Prior to his tenure in Arkansas, he supervised the division of public schools as chancellor of the Florida Department of Education.

Secretary Kristi Putnam, Director

Arkansas Department of Human Services

B.A., Florida State University

M.S., Southern New Hampshire University

Kristi Putnam assumed the role of Secretary for the Arkansas Department of Human Services in 2023. With over two decades of experience in policy-making and practical work in areas such as human services, early childhood services, education, workforce development, and health policy. She has accomplished remarkable work in implementing Kentucky's Medicaid transformation, as well as several other innovative policy and process initiatives across the state.

Tiffany Wright, Director-Division of Children and Family Services

Department of Human Services

B.A., Midland Lutheran College

M.A., Bellevue University

Tiffany is the Director of the Division of Children and Family Services, responsible for ensuring the safety of children and youth in Arkansas, overseeing child abuse and neglect prevention, foster care, and adoption programs. She has held various roles within DCFS, including Assistance Director of Field Operations, Community Services Program Administrator, Foster Care and Adoption Program Administrator, and Foster Care Manager. Tiffany began her career with DCFS as a family service worker in 2009.

Michael Crump, Director-Division of Youth Services

Arkansas Department of Human Services

B.A., Arkansas State University

J.D., William H. Bowen School of Law

Michael began as DYS Director in 2018. He previously served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Criminal Justice Policy Advisory to the Governor Attorney for the Department of Human Services, and Assistant Director of Medical Services. He has served on the Commission since 2018. 

Keesa Smith, Executive Director

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

J.D., William Bowen School of Law

Keesa is the Executive Director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. Before her current position, Keesa was a staff attorney for the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Deputy Legal Counsel Office of Governor Mike Beebe. Most recently, she was the Deputy Director of Children and Family Services for the Department of Human Services. Keesa joined the Commission in 2023.


Tom Masseau, Executive Director

Disability Rights Arkansas

A.A., Lansing Community College

B.A., Michigan State University

Tom has been Executive Director of Disability Rights Arkansas since 2013, and he has been President of the National Disability Rights Network Board of Directors since 2019. He began his career as Director of Government and Media Relations for the Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. Most recently, he was Executive Director for Disability Rights Wisconsin. He has served on the Commission since 2018.   

Diana Smith, LCSW

University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Family Treatment Program

Diana has worked with families for over 25 years to evaluate and way.  treat children and adolescents with problematic sexual behavior. Diana emphasizes community safety and recognizes the importance of helping parents develop the skills necessary to support their children in the best possible way. She has served on the Commission since 2018.  



Lekita Thomas, Director

United Family Services

Lekita joined United Family Services in 2015 as Special Program Manager, and she was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2019. Before that, she worked for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as Director of Printing, Mail, Television, and Radio Services, and as Assistant Director of Technical Services.  She also worked as a Corporate Research Assistant to monitor changes affecting investors. She is a certified Girls' Circle facilitator and a certified Habilitation, Empowerment, Accountability Therapy facilitator.

LeAnne Burch, Former Arkansas State Representative & Attorney at Law

B.A., Hendrix College

J.D., University of Memphis

L.L.M. Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School

M.S.S., U.S. Army War College

LeAnne previously served as an attorney for the Arkansas Department of Human Services. She also served on active and reserve duty in the U.S. Army, retiring after 30 years from the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the rank of Brigadier General. She served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 2016 to 2020. She has served on the Commission since 2018.

Carol Childs, Juvenile Officer

Saline County Juvenile Court

B.S.E., Henderson State University

Carol is the Chief Juvenile Officer for Saline County. She started her career as a high school teacher. She went on to work for the Saline County Sheriff's Office and later transitioned into the Juvenile Division as a juvenile probation officer. She served as Chief Deputy before assuming her current role.

Mason Reynolds, Attorney at Law

B.S.E in Education, University of Central Arkansas

J.D., University of Arkansas Fayetteville School of Law

Mason earned his bachelor's degree in education from the University of Central Arkansas in 2014 before teaching for two years in Little Rock. In 2016, he enrolled in law school, and he graduated from University of Arkansas Fayetteville in 2019. Since then, Mason has worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Benton County and presently practices law in the areas of family law, civil litigation, juvenile law, criminal law, estate planning, and personal injury.

Drew Shover, Probation Supervisior

Benton County Juvenile Court

University of Arkansas, B.A. Criminal Justice

Grand Canyon University, M.A. Sociology

Drew has 27 years juvenile justice experience working in residential facilities and the juvenile court.  He started his career working at the Washington County Juvenile Detention Center in 1996, and later transitioned to the Benton County Juvenile Court in the year 2000.  For the past 23 years, he has worked as a probation and intake officer. In 2016, Drew then became the Chief Probation Officer.  During his career in Benton County, he became a site JDAI community coordinator for the Anne E. Cassey Foundation.  After 3 years of research and data collection, Drew wrote a grant to repurpose a portion of a juvenile detention center into a state licensed boy’s shelter as an alternative to detention for nonviolent offenders.    

Ashley Figueroa

Commission Administrator

Ashley started her career in public service through the Arkansas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Arkansas State Police (ASP) as a Project Based Researcher focused on law enforcement wellness and diversity, equity, and inclusivity efforts. After receiving a Masters of Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service she became the Public Education Coordinator for the Administrative Office of the Courts in 2022. Ashley has specialized training in peer crisis intervention, law enforcement wellness, and dialogue facilitation.

625 Marshall StreetLittle Rock, Ar 72201

501-682-9400 arcommissiononchildren@arcourts.gov



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