Simon Gonsoulin is a principal researcher at AIR where he serves as director for the National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk (NDTAC). The mission of NDTAC is to improve educational programming for neglected and delinquent youth. NDTAC is funded by the U. S. Department of Education to develop a uniform evaluation model for state education agency programs; provide technical assistance to states to increase capacity for data collection and use in order to improve educational programming for youth who are neglected, delinquent, or at risk; and facilitate communication and collaboration between different organizations, agencies and other stakeholders that work with this population.
Gonsoulin also acts as the juvenile justice resource specialist for the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP). TAP is responsible for providing technical assistance to system of care (SOC) communities around the country. He works directly with SOC communities that have identified at-risk and juvenile justice youth as a population of focus in their grant and six-year strategic plans. SOC communities are funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Finally, Gonsoulin is a member of the State Training and Technical Assistance Center (SSTAC) staff and provides technical assistance to states, tribes, and local governments that receive funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Prior to joining AIR, Gonsoulin was appointed to the Governor’s Cabinet in Louisiana as the deputy secretary of the Office of Youth Development, where he led the state’s juvenile justice reform efforts for four years. As deputy secretary, he oversaw an annual budget of $182 million and had statewide responsibilities of the newly created state agency which included secure care, probation and parole services, and contracted community-based services for juvenile justice-involved youth.