Lori James-Townes, MSW
Lori James-Townes, LCSW-C, MSW ’91
Executive Director at National Association for Public Defense/President, Expand-Now
Lori James-Townes is President & CEO of Expand-Now. She also serves as an Assistant Training Director for National Association of Public Defense. Lori’s passion is adding value to others. Lori has over 25 years of teaching, clinical practice, leadership, and management experience in juvenile justice, mental health, and public defender settings. Her most recent public defender position was Director of Social Work, Leadership and Program Development, with Maryland Office of Public Defender. With over more than 800 employees, she served as one of the first Directors of Leadership in a public defender setting. While in this position, she demonstrated her ability to help others grow in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and management. She also led the agency’s social work staff, consultants, and interns.
Lori is certified John Maxwell Trainer, Coach and Speaker. She has developed programs that are now national models for other agencies. In 2015, The Daily Record Newspaper named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. As a speaker, she is requested both nationally and internationally.
Lori has held various leadership positions on national organizations and Boards of Directors. Her commitment to growth has been recognized as organizations have appointed her to serve as Conference Chair for several national conferences and training programs. Lori also serves as a faculty member for national and regional leadership development, trials skills, training, and programs, including but not limited to: National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialist Gideon’s Promise, National Legal Aide and Defender Association, Administrative Offices of the Courts (Training Branch), MD Department of Human Services, and other private and non-profit entities.