Tara Kunkel joins the National Center for State Courts this year as a Principal Court Management Consultant. Tara brings fourteen years of experience as a former Circuit Court administrator, Drug Court Administrator and Criminal Justice Planner.
Tara has worked extensively with the judiciary, elected officials and policy makers to improve justice policies and practices, and to expand collaborative court diversion and intervention efforts. Tara is skilled in court administration, to include training and process analysis, and she has broad experience in planning and implementing programs that reduce risk and recidivism. She has also facilitated cross-system information sharing and collaborations.
Tara has served in numerous community organizations centered on child/family needs, advocacy and court processes – including work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for over eleven years. Tara has held numerous state-level leadership roles including serving as President of the Virginia Drug Court Association and being appointed by the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court to the Statewide Drug Treatment Court Advisory Board.
She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Masters in Social Work and received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia.