Speakers

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Michael Baird

DNA Diagnostics Center

Dr. Baird has published over 50 articles in peer review journals as well as chapters in books about the use of DNA for identification.  He was the first to testify in a criminal trial involving DNA evidence and has since testified in over 350 criminal cases.  He has presented at dozens of scientific meetings around the world about DNA testing for identification.  He served on the panel of the Office of Technology Assessment for the U.S. Congress studying the use of DNA for identification.  Dr. Baird currently serves as the past chair of the Relationship Testing Standards Committee of the AABB.

Michael Baird

Jo-Anne Bright

Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) New Zealand

Jo-Anne Bright is a Senior Science Leader within the Forensic Biology group at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) New Zealand, where she has worked since 1999. Jo is one of the co developers of STRmix™, expert software for the interpretation of forensic DNA profiles and the new Australasian standard.

Jo-Anne Bright

John Butler

NIST Fellow & Special Assistant to the Director at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

John M. Butler is an internationally recognized expert in forensic DNA analysis and holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Virginia. He has written five textbooks on Forensic DNA Typing (2001, 2005, 2010, 2012, and 2015) and given hundreds of invited talks to scientists, lawyers, and members of the general public throughout the United States and in 25 other countries so far.

John Butler

John Collins

High-Stakes Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach at Critical Victories

John Collins is a High-Stakes Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach at Critical Victories, a company he founded to help people, teams, and organizations thrive in high-pressure environments where perfection is an expectation and failure is a ticket out the door.  He is also among the most respected forensic experts in the United States, recently publishing his first book on leadership and management in forensic science, which was released by Academic Press just last month. 

John Collins

Marsha Deitz

AABB

Marsha Deitz has worked for AABB as the staff Lead Assessor for Relationship Testing since January 2010. Marsha is a Certified Quality Auditor with ASQ, a certified lead auditor for ISO/IEC 17025, a forensic scientist and licensed Medical Technologist.

Marsha Deitz

Rachel Oefelein

DNA Labs International (DLI)

Rachel Oefelein is currently the Quality Assurance Manager/Senior DNA Analyst at DNA Labs International (DLI). Her courtroom experience includes testimony in four Florida counties, two states and three countries including misdemeanor and felony trials as well as both Arthur and Daubert hearings. 

Rachel Oefelein

Margaret Press

Co-founder, DNA Doe Project

Margaret Press, PhD is the co-founder of the DNA Doe Project, a non-profit corporation dedicated to identifying John and Jane Does through genetic genealogy.

Margaret Press

Diahan Southard

Your DNA Guide

Diahan has evolved with the Genetic Ancestry industry beginning in the year 2000 when she helped pioneer the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, the first attempt to combine DNA and family history. For the last 5 years she has been running Your DNA Guide, a company providing education and assistance to anyone with DNA who wants to learn more about their family history. She now also runs DNA Eyewitness, a company providing educational opportunities for law enforcement to learn how to apply DNA and family history in their investigations.

Diahan Southard

Sheila Willis

Guest Researcher at National Institute of Standards and Technology

Sheila Willis was Director General Forensic Science Ireland from 2002 – 2017. From Sept 2017 to April 2019 she worked at NIST on a scientific foundation review of DNA mixture interpretation. She has given many presentations including “Forensic Science – Fact and Fiction” as a recipient of the Boyle Higgins Medal from the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland, 2013; Stuart Kind Memorial Lecture 2016 “What does it take to be a Skeptical Witness -can we learn from the past to plan the future? “and Forensics@NIST “Lessons learned from a life in Crime”.

Sheila Willis

Charlotte Word

Consultant

Charlotte Word is currently a consultant in Human DNA Identification testing. She has performed technical reviews on many 1000’s of cases from several public and private DNA testing laboratories and has participated in the validation of various DNA test systems.  Charlotte has testified as an expert witness in over 300 trials and admissibility hearings around the country since 1990. 

Charlotte Word